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Posted on: February 8, 2018

Stay Alert for Tax Scams

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The Apache Junction Police Department would like to warn citizens of IRS scams that continue to target people of all ages. Every tax season residents get telephone calls from people identifying themselves as representatives of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). These criminal individuals tell the resident they owe money for fake tax bills and that they have to pay immediately or they will be arrested. In some cases scammers are telling people to pay with bitcoin and yes we have had several residents that have received said calls.

Here is what you need to know. The IRS generally first contacts people by mail – not by phone – about unpaid taxes and the IRS will not ask for payment using a prepaid debit card, a money order or wire a transfer. The IRS also will not ask for a credit card number over the phone. The callers who commit this fraud often:

Utilize an automated robocall machine

Use common names and fake IRS badge numbers

May know the last four digits of the victim’s Social Security Number

Make caller ID information appear as if the IRS is calling

Aggressively demand immediate payment to avoid being criminally charged or arrested

Claim that hanging up the telephone will cause the immediate issuance of an arrest warrant for unpaid taxes

Send bogus IRS e-mails to support their scam

Call a second or third time claiming to be the police or department of motor vehicles, and the caller ID again supports their claim

If you get a call from someone claiming to be with the IRS asking for a payment, here is what to do:

If you owe Federal taxes, or think you might owe taxes, hang up and call the IRS at (800) 829-1040. IRS workers can help you with your payment questions.

If you do not owe taxes, fill out the “IRS Impersonation scam” form on the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA’s website, www.tigta.gov, or call TIGTA at (800) 366-4484.

You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.FTC.gov. Add “IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments in your complaint.

A new phishing scam is targeting employers in order to trick them into providing payroll information. Fake email messages contain requests for copies of W-2 forms for employees. If this information is mistakenly given out then a great deal of personal data is used to file fraudulent tax returns. Check with your employer to ensure that your payroll data is secure.

You can read more about tax scams on the official IRS website at www.irs.gov. If you would like more information, please contact the Community Resource Coordinator at (480) 474-5442 or cru@ajcity.net.

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