Tax scam targets Social Security numbers

By Jordan Radloff

A new form of tax scamming is threatening the safety of taxpayers by targeting Social Security numbers. The Office Lead of H&R Block in Sycamore, Carme Gregory, warned the DeKalb and Sycamore community of new tax scammers in a June 2017 news release. However, the problem is still happening now.

The specific scam involves a caller telling the taxpayer that they have sent certified letters that were undeliverable, and that they must pay a fine to IRS through the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System with a pre-paid debit card in order to avoid being arrested for crimes related to tax evasion.

{{tncms-inline content=”<ol> <li>You will always get a letter from the IRS before a phone call for payment. The IRS does engage private bill collectors, but you will still get a letter first.</li> <li>You will always be given the chance to question the amount the IRS says you owe. No phone caller who demands immediate payment or threatens you with arrest is legitimate.</li> <li>You are not required to use a specific payment like a prepaid debit card, and the IRS will not ask you for a credit or debit card over the phone.</li> </ol>” id=”dfc64ba8-3ae3-43ad-acbc-878c0356271b” style-type=”bio” title=”H&R Block’s Tips for Recognizing a Tax Scam” type=”relcontent”}}

These scams prey on taxpayers by using their fear of not completing their taxes in order to get them to reveal their Social Security numbers. The scammers use this information to get the scammed taxpayers to pay made up fees directly to the scammer.

Social Security Administration scams have become a growing problem in recent years. Between April 2018 and March 2019, $19 million was lost by U.S. taxpayers, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

Taxpayers should be aware of the dangers and monetary losses of these new IRS Social Security number scams, and how to report them to the government to hep prevent further scams.

{{tncms-inline content=”<ul> <li>Internal Revenue System (IRS): 800-829-1040</li> <li>Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA): 800-366-4484 or</li> <li>Federal Trade Commission (FTC): Complaint Assistant at</li> </ul>” id=”b0dbc08a-2867-4794-b071-bdab96c2fe36″ style-type=”info” title=”Contact Information for Reporting Tax Scams” type=”relcontent”}}