Greensboro Residents May Experience Scams During Tax Season
Greensboro police warn residents to be alert to scam calls and e-mails from people claiming to be agents with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) demanding money for back taxes.
Immigrants and the elderly are more likely to be targeted than other residents. A caller often threatens them with deportation, arrest, revocation of their driver’s license, or having their utilities disconnected if they do not immediately make a payment. People unfamiliar with the proper procedures for paying taxes are scared into sending money to the scammer.
According to the IRS, the agency saw an increase of malware and phishing attempts of approximately 400 percent during the 2016 tax season. Although many of the e-mails looked official and included the IRS logo, agency officials say the e-mails were a ruse to swindle money or steal a recipient’s identity.
In recent years in the Greensboro, scammers tried to collect money over the telephone by requiring potential victims to provide funds through a pre-paid debit card or reload card. According to the IRS website, the agency never asks for debit card, credit card, or prepaid card information over the telephone; it always sends taxpayers a written notification of any tax due via the US mail.
If you receive one of these threatening calls or e-mails, do not transfer any money. If you think you owe money to the IRS, call the agency at 1-800-829-1040. IRS employees will help you with payment, if there really is such an issue.
Learn more about scammer techniques and what you should do if you receive these calls.
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