It is tax time, and the Goldsboro Police Department wants you to watch out for tax season scammers. In a Facebook post Monday, the GPD provides tips for avoiding scams this tax season, starting with choosing a legitimate tax preparer.
The Goldsboro P.D. also urges residents to watch out for the following tax scams:
- Fake tax agency letters – This scheme involves the mailing of a letter threatening an IRS lien or levy. The lien or levy is based on bogus delinquent taxes owed to a non-existent agency, “Bureau of Tax Enforcement.” There is no such agency.
- Phone scams – The IRS does not leave pre-recorded, urgent or threatening messages. In many variations of the phone scam, victims are told if they do not call back, a warrant will be issued for their arrest. Other verbal threats include law-enforcement agency intervention, deportation or revocation of licenses. Criminals can fake or “spoof” caller ID numbers to appear to be anywhere in the country, including from an IRS office. This prevents taxpayers from being able to verify the true call number. Fraudsters also have spoofed local sheriff’s offices, state departments of motor vehicles, federal agencies and others to convince taxpayers the call is legitimate.
- Email phishing scams – The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. The IRS initiates most contacts through regular mail delivered by the United States Postal Service.
Remember, the IRS will never:
- Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. The IRS does not use these methods for tax payments. Generally, the IRS will first mail a bill to any taxpayer who owes taxes.
- Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying.
• Demand that taxes be paid without giving the taxpayer the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone. Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately. Call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. IRS workers can help.
- The IRS does not use text messages or social media to discuss personal tax issues, such as those involving bills or refunds.