Loudoun County, VA (February 26, 2021) - As Tax Day gets closer, be on the lookout for IRS-related scams. The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents of scammers posing as IRS officials who contact you asking for personal information and demanding immediate payment via prepaid money cards, gift cards, or wire transfers
Tax scams come in different forms, mostly via telephone calls or emails but the subject remains the same. Individuals are notified that they owe the IRS money, and must pay it now, or risk being arrested.
The IRS and the FTC have issued recent warnings about fake calls and emails that are tricking citizens into paying money that they supposedly owe. The scammers, posing as IRS officials, will only take immediate payment via prepaid money cards, gift cards, or wire transfers. The scammers often use software or apps that will “spoof” the number on your caller ID, to make it look like it is coming from an official phone number. In other cases, the callers utilize VoIP phone services that make tracing the numbers very difficult. VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, phone services utilize technologies for placing and transmitting telephone calls over the internet. These calls are usually routed internationally through servers located abroad.
The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office is offering tips to our citizens to avoid becoming a victim to such scams.
- DO NOT provide payment via prepaid money card, gift card, or wire transfers - The IRS does not make demands for tax debt to be paid using these methods.
- DO NOT provide personal information to anyone who is making these threats or demands. - This is a good rule to follow all the time. Any time you receive an incoming call, never provide your personal information as the calls may be “spoofed.
- The IRS will contact you via mail. – They DO NOT use email, text messaging or social media to collect personal or financial information.
If you are concerned about potential tax issues, you can contact the IRS at 800-829-1040.
If you receive one of these phone calls, and HAVE NOT submitted any form of payment, you can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
If you receive one of these phone calls and HAVE been tricked into paying money, you should file a report with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office. For your convenience, an online report may be filed by visiting our website at http://sheriff.loudoun.gov/reportonline.
If you receive an email regarding this scam, forward the email to the IRS.
Additionally, when tax season draws to an end, many citizens who file their taxes are alerted that their returns were rejected. Someone has already filed a tax return using your social security number. If this occurs, the IRS may think that you have already filed your return and received the refund. You will be sent notice or letter indicating the problem. The IRS has dedicated employees that will assist you in this situation.
If this occurs, you should:
- Report the fraud - Contact the IRS, Identity Protection Specialized Unit at (800) 908-4490. You will be required to submit an IRS ID Theft Affidavit Form 14039 (PDF).
- File an online report with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office by visiting http://sheriff.loudoun.gov/reportonline or by calling 703-777-1021.
- Update your files – record the dates you made phone calls or sent letters. Keep copies of letters in your files.
- Consider placing a fraud alert on your credit reports.
- Create an Identity Theft Report by filing an identity theft complaint with the FTC.
- Consider filing your tax return as early as possible to avoid falling victim to this scam.
For more information regarding these scams, visit https://www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Scams-Consumer-Alerts.
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