Fake IRS Tax Scams Target Many, but Especially the Elderly
Our Delray Beach personal injury lawyers know that this time of the year is especially stressful when it comes to finances, as the tax return filing deadline is fast approaching. Will you owe money? Will you get money back? And, most importantly, are you filling out your tax returns properly?
This concerns us because, as we know all too well, personal injury doesn’t just come in the form of physical harm – it can be emotional, mental and/or financial, as we will discuss here.
One of the most terrifying scenarios that can play-out in a taxpayer’s head is receiving a call or letter or e-mail from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), stating that you owe thousands of dollars in taxes and are at risk for having your wages garnished – or worse. Unfortunately, thousands and thousands of Americans receive these types of communications every year; however, very often the people making those calls and sending these letters aren’t IRS agents at all, but rather scammers taking advantage of people’s fears and vulnerabilities.
Stealing criminal tricks from illegal telemarketing schemes and other phone-based sales swindles, the tax scammers unfortunately target senior citizens. While IRS tax scammers also prey on newly arrived immigrants, in whom they instill fear with the threat of deportation, the elderly remain especially vulnerable. Senior citizens – particularly those struggling with the diminished mental capacities associated with growing old – are often duped into sending thousands and thousands of dollars to con men and women representing themselves as agents of the IRS.
Reacting to the tax scams, which have already led to victims losing upwards of $15 million this tax season, the IRS has released a list of what it deems to be the “dirty dozen,” 12 tax scams that it deems to be the most prevalent and harmful. Below, we will outline a couple of the most dangerous tactics being used on vulnerable taxpayers each and every day.
Forceful and intimidating calls placed by criminals posing as IRS agents remain an ongoing threat. The IRS has witnessed a surge of these phone call scams in recent months as scam artists threaten the people they call with police arrest, deportation, driver’s license revocation and other things. The criminals then tell the taxpayers they’ve called in order to avoid any of these terrible things happening, the taxpayers must wire a certain amount of money – usually thousands of dollars – to a certain account. Wanting to clear up what they perceive as a dangerous mistake, the taxpayers unknowingly send thousands of their hard-earned dollars right into the bank accounts of the scammers.
Taxpayers need to be aware of the fact that tax scammers use fake e-mails to steal personal information. Remember that the IRS does not send e-mails about a bill overdue or a refund out of the blue. If an e-mail comes from someone claiming to be from the IRS, do not click on the link; it may take you to an unsecure website through which criminals can steal your personal information.
If you think you have been the victim of a tax scam, and have suffered a financial loss as a result, please contact our Boca Raton and Delray Beach personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Aronberg, Aronberg & Green by calling 561-266-9191 or by e-mailing us at email@example.com to schedule a consultation at no cost or obligation.