Does the IRS consumer alert ever text you? The answer is no. The IRS alert often warns consumers and taxpayers to remain vigilant regarding text and email scams. So if you receive an email or unsolicited text message claiming to be from the “IRS” stating that you owe back taxes or asking for your Social Security number or personal info, it’s a scam. These scam texts occur year-round but increase in frequency during tax season.
So how can consumers protect themselves from fake texts and scammers?
The Latest IRS-Related Scams
Scammers will employ ridiculous tactics to defraud people out of their personal information and money. Here is a list of the most common IRS-related scams consumers should watch out for:
“The IRS Will Cancel Your Social Security Number”
If you receive a text or phone call stating that the IRS will cancel your Social Security number for an unpaid tax bill, this is a 100% scam. The IRS does not initiate contact through text messages or phone numbers.
“The Bureau of Tax Enforcement Will Lien or Levy Your Assets”
You may also receive messages claiming that the “Bureau of Tax Enforcement” will put a lien or levy on your assets. The Bureau of Tax Enforcement doesn’t exist, so you should ignore the message or immediately hang up.
“We Made a Mistake on Your Tax Return and Need You to Fill Out a Form”
Some scammers will try to get personal information from unsuspecting people by claiming to be from the IRS and asking them to fill out paperwork. They’ll ask you to submit your birthday, address, Social Security number, or driver’s license number to claim your “refund.”
“The IRS Needs to Update Your Banking Information”
The IRS will never send a text or email that asks for banking information. Never, ever, give your bank account numbers to anyone over the phone or email, as the IRS does not ask people for this information.
You may also see scam messages about stimulus checks, COVID relief, tax credits, banking information, tax returns, unpaid back taxes, payments, or requests to set up an online IRS account. Remember, the IRS never sends text messages. When in doubt, contact the IRS main office on the phone or the web.
How to Spot IRS Scams
Here are some red warning flags you should watch out for that indicate a scam:
Texts with links or phone numbers: Texts that contain links are either malware or will bring you to fake sites to steal your personal info.
The promise of cash: Scammers know that people will be more likely to fall for their scam if they promise them money. Don’t fall for this tactic!
Spelling and grammar errors: Any messages with spelling errors, grammar mistakes, and run-on sentences are from scammers. Usually, these are from scammers who don’t speak English as their first language.
Threatening messages: Many scammers will threaten you with a warrant, arrest, or jail time if you don’t “respond to this message immediately.” The IRS never uses threatening tactics such as those.
Call Levy & Associates Today
So, you should ignore any suspicious texts, emails, or calls claiming to be from the IRS. Furthermore, you should report the scam to the official IRS website.
However, we know how stressful it is dealing with the IRS, especially if you have unpaid back taxes. Fortunately, we can help. At Levy & Associates, we’ve assisted hard-working Americans with their accounting and tax issues since the 1960s. Call us today at 1(800) TAX-LEVY to schedule your free consultation with the Levy & Associates team.