Crime Stoppers Tip of the Month: Tax scams |

Crime Stoppers Tip of the Month: Tax scams

As we get close to tax time, we have seen a surge in IRS phone scams, phishing scams and identity theft scams. Here are some brief explanations of the kinds of scams we are seeing in Routt County and some tips that will help protect someone from becoming a victim.

Phone scams: Aggressive and threatening phone calls by criminals impersonating IRS agents remains an ongoing threat to taxpayers. The IRS has seen a surge of these phone scams in recent months as scam artists threaten police arrest, deportation, license revocation and other things. The IRS reminds taxpayers to guard against all sorts of con games that arise during any filing season. 

Phishing: Taxpayers need to be on guard against fake emails or websites looking to steal personal information. The IRS will not send you an email about a bill or refund out of the blue. Don’t click on one claiming to be from the IRS that takes you by surprise. Taxpayers should be wary of clicking on strange emails and websites. They may be scams to steal your personal information. 

Identity theft: Taxpayers need to watch out for identity theft especially around tax time. The IRS continues to aggressively pursue the criminals that file fraudulent returns using someone else’s Social Security number. The IRS is making progress on this front but taxpayers still need to be extremely careful and do everything they can to avoid becoming a victim. 

We have the following five tips that will help you identify a scam call quickly. According to the IRS, the agency will never:

• Call to demand immediate payment, nor will we call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.

• Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.

• Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.

• Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

• Threaten to bring in local police or other law enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

You can reach Routt County Crime Stoppers at 970-870-6226 or send a text message to 274637 and start your text with “NABM”. All texters and callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward if your information leads to the apprehension of the individual(s) responsible for these crimes.

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