The holiday season is just around the corner but that doesn’t stop scammers from trying to take advantage of unsuspecting victims. Keep reading to learn more about a scam you should be on the lookout for over the next weeks.
Gift Cards Are NOT Used to Make Tax Payments
No doubt, gift cards are a common and convenient option during the holidays, but they are NOT to be used to make tax payments.
Scammers often impersonate the IRS or other reputable institution and try to get people to pay fake tax bills with prepaid gift cards.
Criminals prefer gift cards because they are difficult to trace or recover once the transaction has been completed.
Pay Attention to These Red Flags
These are some red flags that can help you identify scammers using this scheme:
- The contact you unsolicited either by phone, email, text, or social media.
- They may tell you that you are somehow linked to illegal activity (for example, that your identity has been stolen and used for fraudulent purposes).
- They resort to threats and/or harassment to get you to pay a fake tax penalty.
- They instruct you to buy gift cards from different stores.
- Once you buy the gift cards, they ask you to provide the gift card number and PIN.
What to Do if You Detect a Gift Card Scam Attempt
If you believe you have been targeted by scammers, you can use the IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting website or call 800-366-4484.
In the case of phone scams, you can report them to the Federal Trade Commission, making sure to add “IRS phone scam” in the notes.
If you receive threatening or harassing phone calls, you can report them directly to the IRS to phishing@IRS.gov, including the phrase “IRS phone scam” in the subject line.
Learn More About Taxes
From scams to tips to file your tax return, these are some previous posts you can read to gain a better insight into the world of taxes.
- The importance of knowing your correct filing status
- IRS announces new taxpayer relief initiative to help those impacted by COVID-19
- 7 Essential tax terms
- How to choose the right structure for a new business
- 3 Online resources you’ll need after filing your taxes
- Home office tax deduction: everything you need to know
Contact the Experts at Meadville Tax Service
At Meadville Tax Service we have made it our mission to help you file your taxes efficiently, limiting your tax liability while staying compliant with federal tax regulations.