IRS/Tax Scams and Similar Government Agency Scams Alert

During the tax season the number of IRS-related scams increases. But keep your guard up during other times of the year! Bad guys may pose as other agencies, too.

Scam artists posing as IRS officials take advantage of taxpayers by playing on their fears. As people are preparing their tax returns, those emotions are stronger, making many people easier targets for bad guys. Scammers have also expanded beyond the IRS and are claiming to be from other government agencies like the Social Security Administration. Regardless of their tactics, their goal is the same: to get you to send them money.

 

HOW IT WORKS

In a common scam, someone calls you and claims to be an IRS agent. They say you owe back taxes and unless you pay immediately, you will be arrested. They can be very convincing and threatening. They say you can settle your debt by sending them a prepaid debit card or gift card, like Amazon or iTunes, or by making a wire transfer.

Bad guys may also claim to represent other agencies, like Social Security, and ask for personal information.  The caller says they need your Social Security Number and bank account information so the agency can issue you additional funds or rebates, or they say your information was lost because of a computer glitch.

What To Do

Do not believe them!

Never give these scam artists bank account information, credit card numbers, your Social Security Number or any other sensitive personal information.

The IRS and other agencies will usually contact you first by mail and give you a chance to resolve any issues. You can read more on the IRS website.

While the IRS recently started using collection companies, these companies and the IRS will not threaten you with arrest. The IRS also does not accept gift cards – especially iTunes and Amazon – as payment.

While the tax season is prime season for these scams, they may happen at any time of the year.

For other government benefit scams, federal government agencies and federal employees also don’t ask people to send money for prizes or unpaid loans. They will not ask you to wire money or add money to a prepaid debit card to pay for anything.

What We Are Doing

We are doing our part to help prevent these scams throughout the world when we become aware of them. AT&T will partner with law enforcement both in the United States and overseas in order to protect its customers from large-scale robocalling fraud.