IRS Issues Warning About “Back To School” Scams

Keyboard scam

Scam Warning!

With students and parents preparing to face the start of the new school year, there’s already a lot of running around and taking care of last minute details. The start of the new school year also brings tax scams.

The IRS recently announced that a new scam is making the rounds. They warned of phone calls from fake agents, claiming to represent the agency and demanding a “federal student tax”.

While IRS scams have become a year round thing, this particular one targets parents and students. These bogus impersonators threaten with fines and jail time, demanding payment to stop any legal proceedings.

The IRS urges parents and schools to communicate to each other, students and staff that these scams are happening and to be on the look out.

Some of the tactics these scammer use to pay money or give up personal information include:

  • Altering Caller ID information;
  • Demanding payments using gift cards;
  • “Verifying” tax return information;
  • Pretending to be professional tax preparers;

If you receive a call from someone purporting to be an IRS representative, keep the following in mind:

  • The IRS will never demand immediate payment over the phone.  You will often get a letter in the mail first;
  • Threaten to alert or use local police or law enforcement agencies;
  • Demand payment of taxes without benefit of an appeal;
  • Ask for card payment information over the phone;

If you get a call you feel may be a scam, the IRS urges you to do the following:

  • Don’t provide any personal information and hang up immediately;
  • Search the number appearing on the caller ID.  They are often already listed as scam phone numbers;
  • If you think you might owe the IRS, call them directly: 1-800-829-1040;

Staying vigilant and alert will help keep crooks from separating you from your hard earned money.