Posted: Thursday, July 19th 2012 at 12:30pm
IRS warns of area tax scam underway
By Marc Eggers Staff
ATLANTA – The Internal Revenue Service today issued a warning for taxpayers to guard against a new scam trying to collect money to settle bogus IRS tax liens. The scam requests money to settle unpaid back-taxes to avoid IRS enforcement action.
The official-looking documents are being sent through the mail, claiming to be an IRS Notice of Tax Lien.
The fake notice includes a toll-free telephone number that does not connect to the IRS.
This scam first surfaced in Franklin County, and generally targets unsuspecting taxpayers such as the elderly or students, who normally do not have any filing requirements.
These schemes can be quite costly for victims as promoters have requested exorbitant amounts to settle bogus tax lien claims. Some promoters of this scheme have charged victims $5,000 or more, according to IRS officials.
“Con artists shamelessly take advantage of people. Individuals should be on-guard for these scams and safeguard their social security numbers and personal financial information,” said IRS spokesman Mark S. Green.
"Be very careful of whom you trust for tax advice and of whom you trust with your money and your personal information," said Green.
Green said that the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text and social media.
Individuals who receive an unexpected tax bill from the IRS, even if it comes in the regular mail, should verify its validity before sending money to settle the alleged debt, he said.
Concerned taxpayers should contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 or visit the IRS.gov website, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
More information about other common tax scams is also available on IRS.gov using the keyword "scam" in the search window.
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