Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane today advised consumers to be wary of potential scams surrounding the upcoming deadline for filing taxes.
Specifically, the “Internal Revenue Service” phone scam involves a caller claiming to be from the IRS and that taxes are owed. The caller threatens arrest or deportation, unless the victim settles the debt using a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer.
According to the Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, the IRS typically contacts citizens by mail about unpaid taxes and will not ask for payment with a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer. They will never ask for a credit card number over the phone.
Consumers should not to reply to emails and hang up the phone if they are asked to pay IRS taxes. Attorney General Kane offered the following tips to help consumers avoid this tax-season scam:
• Keep tax paperwork in a secure location.
• Shred any documents that are no longer needed.
• If filing online, update firewall, antivirus and spyware software on your computer.
• Do not click on any links or open any attachments in suspicious emails.
• Do not leave tax documents in your mailbox.
• Hand deliver documents to the post office or a post office mailbox.
Consumers with questions or concerns about possible scams can contact the Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection hotline at 1-800-441-2555. IRS scam emails should be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about tax-related scams and scam alerts, visit the IRS website at http://www.irs.gov.