It’s tax season again and that means criminals are working their scams to separate tax payers from their hard-earned money.
Scammers often makes calls to people claiming to be from the IRS and demanding personal or financial information. They also use bogus calls to demand immediate payment or payment from a pre-paid debit card.
Criminals often prey on senior citizens and other vulnerable residents but there are some things everyone should know as April 15th approaches.
Perris Mayor Daryl Busch urged residents to exercise caution if they receive a call or email from someone claiming to be from the IRS.
“It’s important that we as a City pass on information to our residents that can prevent someone from being harassed or scammed,” Busch said. “As a senior citizen, I am particularly aware that seniors are targeted for these kind of scams and I want others to know about them as well.”
Taxpayers beware. The IRS will never:
- Initiate contact with you via phone, email, text or social media and ask for personal or financial information.
- Call you to demand immediate payment. The IRS will not contact residents without first mailing a bill.
- Require that residents pay income taxes in a certain way, like a pre-paid debit card.
Scammers also employ the use of phishing emails claiming to be from the IRS. Such emails often use phony refunds or threats of an audit and may link to website that appear genuine. The intent is to fool people into providing their personal and financial information which can be used to steal their identity. Should taxpayers receive a phishing email, the IRS advises them to;
- Not reply to the message.
- Not to provide any personal or financial information.
- Forward the email to firstname.lastname@example.org and then delete it.
- Not open any attachments or click on links as those may be infect your computer.
More information about phishing or phone scams is available at www.IRS.gov