Scams are often done in a very intimidating way, which can cause anyone to panic. Sadly, these scams seem to target more of the mature population. Due to their trustworthy nature, mature adults are more vulnerable to such scams, making them the perfect prey. This is especially so for tax scams. Even the word Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is enough to have people quaking in their boots. Imagine receiving a call from someone claiming to be a service representative and being told their badge number, your name, address, and social security number. Most people will find these acts believable, even when the caller demands their bank account number. They end up getting cheated of their retirement money but fail to report it due to embarrassment and shame. Tax season is worrying for everyone, and mature adults are no exception. Here are two common tax scams that target the mature population and how to avoid them.
Being contacted by the Internal Revenue Services by phone or email is a sign of a tax scam. Individuals who aggressively ask for immediate payment or your bank account for a refund are not representatives. The Internal Revenue Services will never call or email you for official matters. Any official matters will be sent to you by certified mail and will come with a written notice. If a refund is needed, they will send it to you directly as well.
Should you answer a call or email where the caller is aggressively threatening you with police reports, home eviction, and other matters, this is a scam too. Do not believe the caller to be a representative just because they know your name, address, and last four digits of your social security number. Scammers have evolved and have found ways to gain access to such information. The Internal Revenue Services will never require immediate payments using only wire transfers or credit or debit cards and would never ask for your card numbers over the phone or through email. Always be skeptical and ask to call them back should you have tax concerns.
Identity fraud happens when someone uses your personal information such as your social security number and name to commit fraud. Scammers have their ways to obtain such personal information without permission. Scammers will use your identity to claim a refund by filing a fraudulent tax return. To protect yourself, you should protect your personal information at all costs. Any account numbers and social security numbers should be kept confidential.
Credit card information and other personal information that can identify you should be protected. If such information is leaked, these scammers can do many things in your name, and this could land you in trouble with the law. Shred any sensitive documents and try to file your taxes early. When you do so, you are less susceptible to becoming a victim of a false tax return. Contact the Internal Revenue Service Identity Protection should you feel that you are a victim of identity theft.
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