96th District, Virginia House of Delegates                                          April 13 , 2016

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Contact Delegate Pogge

District Office 
1201 Jamestown Road
Williamsburg, VA 23185
Phone: 757-223-9690
Legislative Aide
Amanda Johnston
Only a few days remain until the April 18, 2016, filing deadline for IRS tax returns. With that in mind, I ask you to be alert for fraudulent activity. I've heard reports of Virginians receiving threatening phone calls and emails from individuals claiming to be associated with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). 

Please be aware: the IRS will never contact you demanding payment by phone or email without having mailed you a bill first.

The IRS is aware of these fraudulent claims and has provided the following information in a recent press release to inform and assist you: Don't be Fooled; IRS Scams Continue to Pose a Serious Threat 
Stay informed:  recent IRS-related scams 
Telephone Scams.  Aggressive and threatening phone calls by criminals impersonating IRS agents remain an ongoing threat. The IRS has seen a surge of these phone scams in recent years as scam artists threaten taxpayers with police arrest, deportation, license revocation and more. These con artists often demand payment of back taxes on a prepaid debit card or by immediate wire transfer. Be alert to con artists impersonating IRS agents and demanding payment.
Note that the IRS will never:
  • Call to demand immediate payment over the phone or call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
  • Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
  • 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 or threaten to bring in local police or other law enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
Scammers Change Tactics. The IRS is receiving new reports of scammers calling under the guise of verifying tax return information over the phone. The latest variation on this scam uses the current tax filing season as a hook. Scam artists call saying they are from the IRS and have received your tax return, and they just need to verify a few details to process it. The scam tries to get you to give up personal information such as a Social Security number or personal financial information, such as bank numbers or credit cards.
Tax Refund Scam Artists Posing as TAP. In this new email scam targeting taxpayers, people are receiving emails that appear to come from the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel, a volunteer board that advises the IRS on issues affecting taxpayers. They try to trick you into providing personal and financial information. Do not respond or click the links in these emails. If you receive an email that appears to be from TAP regarding your personal tax information, forward it to  phishing@irs.gov.
Email, Phishing and Malware Schemes. The IRS has seen an approximate 400 percent surge in  phishing and malware incidents so far in the 2016 tax season.
The emails are designed to trick taxpayers into thinking these are official communications from the IRS or others in the tax industry, including tax software companies. The phishing schemes can ask taxpayers about a wide range of topics. Emails can seek information related to refunds, filing status, confirming personal information, ordering transcripts and verifying PIN information.
Variations of these scams can be seen via text messages, and the communications are being reported in every section of the country.
When people click on these email links, they are taken to sites designed to imitate an official-looking website, such as IRS.gov. The sites ask for Social Security numbers and other personal information, which could be used to help file false tax returns. The sites also may carry malware, which can infect your computer and allow criminals to access your files or track your keystrokes to gain information.
If you get a 'phishing' email, the IRS offers this advice:
  • Don't reply to the message.
  • Don't give out your personal or financial information.
  • Forward the email to phishing@irs.gov. Then delete it.
  • Don't open any attachments or click on any links. They may have malicious code that will infect your computer.
More information on how to  report phishing or phone scams is available on  IRS.gov.

Related links
Don't be Fooled; IRS Scams Continue to Pose Serious Threat: https://www.irs.gov/uac/Dont-be-Fooled-IRS-Scams-Continue-to-Pose-Serious-Threat
Report phishing or phone scams: https://www.irs.gov/uac/Report-Phishing
Keep in touch!
My door is always open, and I ask that you contact me for assistance with any state-related matter or agency. My Williamsburg office may be reached by phone at 757-223-9690 or email at DelBPogge@house.virginia.gov.

Have a great day!
Delegate Brenda Pogge

Paid for and Authorized by Brenda Pogge for Delegate