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Fri, April 10

Be on guard for scams during tax season

Every week there are reports of people being scammed over the phone or by email.

Senior citizens are especially vulnerable.

During tax season, people should be on the lookout for new variations of tax-related scams.

In the latest twist, scammers are claiming to be capable of suspending or cancelling a victim's Social Security Number for debt owed or law enforcement action.

It’s yet another attempt by con artists to frighten people into returning calls from ‘robocall’ voicemails.

Scammers may mention overdue taxes in addition to threatening to cancel the person’s SSN. If taxpayers receive a call threatening to suspend their SSN for an unpaid tax bill, they should just hang up.

Make no mistake…it’s a scam.

Taxpayers should not give out sensitive information over the phone unless they are positive they know the caller is legitimate. When in doubt — hang up. Here are some telltale signs of this scam. The IRS and its authorized private collection agencies will never:

Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, iTunes gift card or wire transfer. The IRS does not use these methods for tax payments.

Ask a taxpayer to make a payment to a person or organization other than the U.S. Treasury.

Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying.

Demand taxes be paid without giving the taxpayer the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.

Taxpayers who don’t owe taxes and have no reason to think they do should:

Report the call to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.

Report the caller ID and callback number to the IRS by sending it to phishing@irs.gov. The taxpayer should write “IRS Phone Scam” in the subject line.

Report the call to the Federal Trade Commission. When reporting it, they should add “IRS Phone Scam” in the notes.

Taxpayers who owe tax or think they do should:

View tax account information online at IRS.gov to see the actual amount owed and review their payment options.

Call the number on the billing notice

Call the IRS at 800-829-1040.

Information provided by IRS.gov

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