LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford warns consumers to be vigilant in protecting themselves from phony Internal Revenue Service scams as the 2019 tax season begins.
“As tax day approaches, scammers are finding new ways to take advantage of this stressful time,” said AG Ford. “Last week, I received a phony IRS call, which should serve as a reminder to each of us that we must be vigilant in recognizing and reporting scams like this. Awareness is the best form of prevention.”
Scammers impersonating the IRS have already begun contacting individuals and business owners via telephone, email and even regular mail, according to the Nevada attorney general's office.
Scammers may use a variety of tactics to make their call appear legitimate and convincing, including using a caller ID that shows the IRS as the caller; providing a fake IRS badge number; or listing sensitive personal information such as the last four digits of your Social Security number.
The caller then informs the taxpayer that he or she owes money to the IRS, and uses a variety of scare tactics to persuade the taxpayer to send payment with a money transfer or prepaid debit card.
These tactics might include the threat of arrest, deportation or the loss of a business or driver’s license unless the balance is immediately paid.
Frequently, this is the first the taxpayer hears of the debt, when he or she may not owe anything at all.
The office warns the public that the IRS will not initiate contact about a tax obligation by phone, email or social media platforms.
If a consumer suspects the caller is an impostor, the best option is to hang up and call the IRS directly to confirm whether any money is owed.