Tax fraud is a serious offense, and something you should be wary of. There are scammers who will pose as IRS agents and officials in order to demand payments or acquire sensitive, personal and financial information. Take, for example, the recent arrest of five people suspected of impersonating IRS employees as a way to fraudulently collect payment from taxpayers.
The IRS Impersonators
TIGTA (Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration) agents arrested five suspects for wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. They are allegedly responsible for defrauding over 1,500 victims for roughly $2 million. Criminal complaints were charged against the suspects in no less than three states.
The suspects allegedly called up their victims and demanded money under false pretenses while impersonating IRS agents. They used threats to convince these taxpayers to send money by telling the victims the IRS would arrest them if they did not make an immediate payment. The suspects allegedly used a number of other intimidation methods in order to convince their victims to wire money to them using a number of different wire services, including Walmart-2-Walmart and MoneyGram.
A Brief History of the IRS Scam
IRS impersonation scams continue to be a serious problem – but these arrests are a sign of significant progress. These particular scams have resulted in the loss of over $36 million – an average of around $5,700 per taxpayer.
The TIGTA has been investigating these scams for almost three years. They have logged an estimated 1.2 million phone calls reported by taxpayers, of which 6,400 taxpayers have reported they were scammed. Scammers have even gone so far as to encourage their victims to pay what they “owe” using iTunes cards. There have been 328 reports of victims using iTunes cards to pay scammers so far.
Not all of these scams are originating stateside – there have been cases of international scams as well. Several arrests were recently made in New York and California in which the scams had ties to India.
Identifying IRS Scams
If you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be an IRS representative or agent, understand that a real United States Treasury official or IRS official will never demand payments to be made via MoneyGram or any other kind of money wiring service. Nor will they ever demand payment through some kind of prepaid debit card or iTunes card. View our article on the newest tax scam “federal student tax” to learn how to better identify a tax scammer on the phone.
If you think someone is trying to scam you, hang up immediately and go to the scam reporting page on the website for the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and report the call.
Using a tax accountant in Las Vegas will ensure you pay all of the necessary taxes making it easier to identify scammers and report them to the authorities. For tax consulting services contact Fair, Anderson & Langerman, the premier tax accountant in Las Vegas. Call us today at (702) 870-7999!