Stimulus Payment Scams: Uncovering the Most Common Rebate and Government Payment Scams

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) warns of an increasing threat of impersonation scams targeting older individuals, particularly in South Carolina.

Stimulus Payment Scams: The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued a warning regarding the increasing threat of impersonation scams that are specifically targeting older individuals, with a particular emphasis on South Carolina.

These scams include impersonating government personnel to take money and confidential information. Criminals impersonate IRS officials to frighten and deceive victims.

Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Danny Werfel said that scammers often impersonate the IRS or other authorities in phone calls, emails, and texts to seniors. He stressed the need to work with the tax community and other federal organizations to protect elders against these frauds.

The Most Frequently Encountered Scheme

The IRS has detected a concerning trend in which fraudsters are increasingly impersonating IRS agents to target senior citizens. Scammers employ unconventional methods, such as gift cards or wire transfers, to compel victims to make immediate payments, claiming to resolve fictitious tax liabilities or secure phony refunds.

They utilize sophisticated methods, such as manipulating caller IDs, to create the illusion that their scams are legitimate. Scammers frequently assume the identities of representatives from government agencies, such as the IRS, Social Security Administration, and Medicare, as well as well-known businesses and charities.

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They deceive victims into believing that the communications are legitimate by spoofing caller IDs. These fraudulent individuals create urgent situations, such as outstanding debts or commitments to substantial prize rewards. The IRS deceives victims into believing that they owe money, are entitled to a tax refund, need to authenticate their accounts, or must pay fees to claim nonexistent lottery winnings.

These scammers frequently threaten imprisonment, deportation, license suspension, or computer viruses to compel compliance, thereby creating a sense of urgency. They often require victims to provide confidential information, such as gift card numbers, and insist on unconventional payment methods, such as cryptocurrency, wire transfers, payment apps, or gift cards.

Strategies for circumventing fraudulent activities

Advise individuals to terminate the call immediately if they receive an unexpected call from an individual who claims to be from the IRS without prior mail notification in order to prevent falling victim to these hoaxes.

The number provided by the caller or displayed on the caller ID should not be used to resume calls. In order to verify their information, taxpayers may contact IRS customer service at 800-829-1040 or the TTY/TDD line at 800-829-4059. Additionally, taxpayers may verify their tax account information online at IRS.gov.

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