Tax season phone scams continue to plague taxpayers

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Department of Revenue (DOR) continues to partner with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to share the top tax filing season concerns referred to as the “IRS Dirty Dozen” tax scams for 2018.

The second scam in the 12-part series is phone scams. Phone scams are designed to threaten taxpayers into paying money toward bogus tax bills. These scams surge during tax season and often trick the taxpayer into paying money to criminals claiming to be from the IRS or DOR.

Most of these phone scams involve con artists making calls claiming to be from the IRS and demanding payment on a fake tax bill. Threats including arrest, deportation and/or revoking a driver’s license are being made to intimidate the victim into paying. Con artists then convince the victims to provide cash payments usually through a wire transfer, prepaid debit card or gift card.

A new phone scam deployed in recent weeks has identity thieves filing fraudulent tax returns with refunds going to the taxpayer’s bank account. The scammer will then call the victim to convince them to send the refund money to the scammer.

The federal government’s Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) reports over 12,000 victims who have paid over $63 million as a result of phone scams since 2013.

“If you have an outstanding tax liability owed to the State of Indiana, the Indiana Department of Revenue will contact you first by mail,” said DOR Commissioner Adam Krupp. “While we do communicate regularly with customers over the phone to work through outstanding liabilities or aid customers in making a payment, we will never call to demand payment or threaten a taxpayer.”

“If Hoosiers ever question any kind of correspondence from either tax agency—DOR or IRS—we encourage them to call our agency directly to ask questions and confirm what actions need to happen if any.”

Remember DOR and the IRS will never:

• Threaten a taxpayer with arrest or deportation for not paying.

• Demand taxes be paid without giving the taxpayer the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.

• Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

• Call taxpayers about an unexpected refund.

If taxpayers think they may be the target of a phone scam:

• Do not give any information over the phone, hang up immediately.

• Call TIGTA at 800-366-4484 or report online at https://www.treasury.gov/tigta/contact_report_scam.shtml

• Report to DOR by email at investigations@dor.in.gov or by phone at 317-232-2240.

To view the additional 12 “IRS Dirty Dozen” tax scams of 2018, visit http://www.in.gov/dor/6137.htm.

 

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