Provided by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office:
Attorney General Josh Shapiro is advising Pennsylvanians ahead of the April 18 tax filing deadline to be cautious when receiving calls or text messages that claim to be about their taxes.
Scammers often impersonate the IRS or a fake tax agency called the Bureau of Tax Enforcement in an attempt to scare consumers into divulging their personal information and hard-earned money.
“The scammers will try to scare people off by threatening them with a lien or a levy for unpaid taxes,” Shapiro said. “They want you to panic and give them your money and personal information as soon as possible. Pennsylvanians should know the tricks used by these scammers so they can stay calm and protect themselves, their money and their personal information.
IRS scams are popular at the beginning of each year when people normally come into contact with tax preparation companies and IRS agents. In a tax scam, fraudsters demand money or personal information by acting as representatives of an agency.
Whether it’s tax season or not, Pennsylvanians should always watch out for calls, letters, or text messages with suspicious characteristics such as:
- Any threats to involve law enforcement, immigration or the police.
- Unsolicited calls or text messages asking for personal information or to verify your account information.
- Any request for payment in cash, prepaid debit cards, electronic transfers, cryptocurrency or gift card.
Attorney General Shapiro also reminds Pennsylvanians:
- Do not provide any information to a caller claiming to be from the IRS and report the call to email@example.com.
- The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers via email, text, or social media, and you can only view your tax account online at IRS.gov or by calling the IRS at 800-829-1040.
- The IRS does not require a specific type of payment.
- Scammers spoof phone numbers, so getting a call from an IRS number doesn’t mean it’s legitimate.
- Be careful when selecting an online tax preparation company, as these services can also sometimes be scams.
- Don’t click on links in suspicious text messages claiming to be from the IRS or about your taxes.
Pennsylvanians who have questions or believe they have been the victim of a tax scam should file a complaint with the Office of the Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Protection by visiting the website, emailing scams@attorneygeneral .gov or by calling 1-800-441-2555. .
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