The Basics of Tax Scams
A tax scam is designed to illegally obtain money from taxpayers. These scams can take many different forms, but all are aimed at defrauding the taxpayer of their hard-earned money. A scammer may pose as an IRS representative, or they may use phishing emails or fake websites to try and collect personal information. They may also promise unrealistic tax refunds in exchange for a fee. Whatever the method, tax scams are illegal and can be very costly to you as a taxpayer.
Common Tactics Used in a Tax Scam
There are many common tactics scammers use in tax scams that you should be aware of. Here are some of the most popular:
- Phishing emails and websites: Scammers impersonate a legitimate organization, such as the IRS, in order to try and collect personal information. They may do this by sending emails or creating fake websites that look like the real thing.
- Promising unrealistic refunds: Scammers will often promise large tax refunds in exchange for a fee. They may even guarantee a refund regardless of whether the taxpayer actually owes any money.
- Posing as an IRS representative: Scammers may pose as an IRS representative in order to try and collect money from the taxpayer. They may threaten legal action if the taxpayer does not pay, or they may even claim to be from a collection agency.
- Offering tax-related services: Scammers may offer services, such as help with filing taxes, in exchange for a fee.
- Requests for payment by unusual methods: The scammer asks you to pay your taxes using a specific method, such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer.