It has been estimated that Americans lose close to 350 million dollars annually due to phone scams. While this number is staggering, it’s not particularly shocking. Americans receive 40 to 50 unwanted calls per month. Between home phones and cell phones it’s easy to say we’re being bombarded by telemarketers, politicians, and most terrifyingly: scams.
What differentiates scams from one another? Why are some so convincing while others are obviously a hoax? It’s safe to say that they feed off of fear.
The latest scam that has resulted in endless calls to our office asking “is this real?” has been the IRS impersonation scam. More than 8,800 victims have fallen prey to this phone call, and have collectively lost almost 50 million dollars because of it.
Unfortunately, the scam has been taken a step further and has been released into the paper mail system and email services. The mail is disguised as a CP-2000 notice from the IRS demanding payment for a balance due in connection with the Affordable Care Act health coverage for 2014.
We’ve listed out some of the “red flags” associated with the IRS scam, in hopes to save you from the confusion and fear associated with these hoaxes.
Red Flag Warnings:
-Number of pages included in the form. An actual CP-2000 form is generally 6-7 pages in length, as opposed to the 2-3 page scams.
-P.O. Box address may ask for “Austin Processing Center”
-Victim is asked to make the check out to “I.R.S.” not “U.S. Treasury”
-Contact by phone, email, text, or social media
-Phone calls regarding owed taxes without first mailing a bill
-Phone calls to demand immediate payments
-Threats to bring in local law-enforcement
Please do not fall victim to these lies. If it sounds suspicious, there is a strong possibility that you’re being scammed. Don’t be afraid to hang up, and feel free to contact the IRS at 800-829-1040.
For any further questions on phone scams, please contact Rudy Migliore at (631) 543-3663.