Scammers still active even after tax deadline - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Scammers still active even after tax deadline

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Accountants said people were more likely to fall victim to scams after the tax deadline while waiting for their return. Accountants said people were more likely to fall victim to scams after the tax deadline while waiting for their return.
MUSCLE SHOALS, AL (WAFF) -

The tax deadline came and went, but scammers stuck around. They pose as the IRS as a way to get you to share your personal information. Accountants said people were more likely to fall victim to scams after the tax deadline while waiting for their return.

They said people were usually more vulnerable and fear mistakes in their tax returns, making them more likely to respond. According to IRS Spokesman Dan Boone, the biggest active scam is via telephone. He said the callers claim to be from the IRS and demand immediate backpay on taxes.

"They get pretty aggressive," said Boone. "They spoof the caller ID to make it look like it's the IRS calling. They may even know the last four digits of your social security number. They may know where you live, where you work, so it's a little unnerving when they call and they already know a lot of information about you, but the bottom line is the IRS typically makes first contact by the US mail."

Sabrina Eaton said the email address she heard from was convincing enough, but the first red flag was that it was sent to her work account.

"They sent it to my business email which was very odd because I wouldn't use my work email to send out information that's personal. Yet, it's there," said Eaton. "My husband, being in the military, I thought dot gov. It had to be official because it was dot gov."

However, once she opened it, she knew it was a scam.

"I opened it to find there was a ticket for a request I had sent that day on the 17th, but I never sent any kind of email to anyone that I would need anything opened for."

Eaton said she then contacted her accountant who advised her not to respond to the email. She said if there were any issues with her return, the IRS would have contacted her CPA first, then contacted Eaton by mail. Eaton said she never opened the attachment, and wanted to warn others of the dangers online.

"Am I the first one? Am I I the only one, or is this something like a phishing situation? You can click and open that ticket, and they can get your personal information? If it can happen to me, and I work with computers an awful lot, it can happen to anybody."

The email had been making its rounds across the country. According to an article by Forbes Magazine, the email had a domain registered in India. Boone said if you receive that email or anything of the sorts, don't open it.

"Remember, if you get one of these emails that appears to be from the IRS, don't click on any links," said Boone. "Don't open any attachments, because in doing so you may unknowingly download malware to your computer, so if you have gotten one of these and you have clicked on the link, it's a good idea to run a scan immediately. A security scan to see if anything was downloaded."

Boone said the best thing to do is to forward he email directly to the IRS. You can send it to phishing@irs.gov

Boone said the first thing to do if you receive one of these calls, don't give out any additional information on the phone. Secondly, he said call and report the call to the Treasury Inspector General. That number is 1-800-366-4484. Boon said they've had over 20,000 reports of the scam calls.

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