WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Tax season is upon us and phone fraudsters are taking full advantage, says U.S. Rep. Nita M. Lowey.
Lowey (D-Westchester/Rockland) was joined by federal and state officials at the Internal Revenue Service’s White Plains office to warn residents about scams by thieves posing as IRS agents.
Even the congresswoman, a ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee, has been targeted. The scammer who called Lowey claimed that she owed money to the government, that, if unpaid, meant dire “consequences.”
Victims are also threatened with arrest, deportation, and license revocation.
In January, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, an independent arm of the IRS, announced that it had gotten reports of 896,000 illegal contacts since 2013.
More than 5,000 people have collectively been scammed out of $26.5 million of their hard-earned cash.
Other scams to watch out for are: phishing emails, return preparer fraud, offshore tax avoidance, inflated refund claims, fake charities, falsely padding deductions on returns, and excessive claims for business credits.
Residents should know that the IRS will NEVER do the following:
- Call and demand immediate payment.
- Demand you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to appeal.
- Require specific types of payment for your taxes.
- Ask for your credit card number over the phone.
- Threaten to bring in law enforcement to arrest you for lack of payment.
Report incidents to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration by calling (800)-366-4484, or by using the Federal Trade Commission Complaint Assistant; choose “Other” and then “Imposter Scams.” If the complaint involves someone impersonating the IRS, include the words “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.
New Yorkers can call the New York State Attorney General’s Hotline at (800)-771-7755.
To contact Lowey, call her White Plains office at (914)-428-1707, or her New City office at (845)-639-3485), or go to https://lowey.house.gov/contact.
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