Among the list of the "Dirty Dozen" are:
Phishing: The IRS’ criminal investigators have seen a tremendous increase in phishing schemes utilizing emails, letters, texts and links. Most of the new schemes actively play on the fears and unknowns of the virus and Economic Impact Payments (EIPs).
Fake charities: Criminals frequently exploit natural disasters and other situations, like
the COVID-19 pandemic, by setting up fake charities. Fraudsters may even claim to be working for or on behalf of the IRS.
Threatening impersonator phone calls: Typically, a criminal claiming to be with the
IRS makes a threatening phone call and attempts to instill fear and urgency in the victim.
In fact, the IRS will never threaten a taxpayer or demand an immediate payment.
Social media scams: These include emails where scammers impersonate someone's
family members, friends or co-workers. Using personal information, the criminal may email the victim with a link containing malware.
EIP or refund thefts: Criminals this year also turned their attention to stealing Economic Impact Payments. This often stems from identity theft whereby criminals file false tax returns or supply other bogus information to the IRS to divert refunds to wrong addresses or bank accounts.
Rounding out the list are:
- Senior fraud
- Scams targeting non-English speakers
- Unscrupulous return preparers
- "Offer in Compromise" mills (unscrupulous debt resolution mills)
- Fake payments with repayment demands
- Payroll and HR scams
Stay vigilant against these scams. Use a healthy degree of caution and when in doubt, please give us a call.