Attorney General Josh Shapiro is advising Pennsylvanians ahead of the April 18 tax filing deadline to be careful when receiving calls or texts that claim to be about their taxes. Scammers will often pose as the IRS or a fake tax agency called the “Bureau of Tax Enforcement” to try and frighten consumers into giving away their personal information and hard earned money.
“Scammers will try and frighten people by threatening them with a lien or a levy for unpaid taxes,” said AG Shapiro. “They want you to panic and hand over your money and personal information as quickly as possible. Pennsylvanians should know the tricks these scammers use so they can keep calm and keep themselves, their money, and their personal information safe.”
IRS scams are popular at the beginning of every year when people are normally in contact with tax preparation companies and IRS agents. In an IRS scam, fraudsters demand money or personal information by acting as agency representatives.
Whether it’s tax season or not, Pennsylvanians should always watch out for calls, letters, or text messages with suspicious characteristics that include:
- Any threats to involve law enforcement, immigration or the police
- Unsolicited calls or texts asking for personal information or to verify your account information
- Any request for payment through cash, prepaid debit cards, wire transfers, crypto currency or gift cards
Attorney General Shapiro is also reminding Pennsylvanians:
- Do not provide any information to a caller claiming to be from the IRS, and report the call to firstname.lastname@example.org
- The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text message, or social media and you can only review your tax account online at IRS.gov or by calling the IRS at 800-829-1040
- The IRS does not require a specific type of payment
- Scammers spoof phone numbers, so receiving a call from an IRS number does not mean it is legitimate
- Be careful selecting a tax preparation business online, as those services can also sometimes be scams
- Do not click on links in suspicious text messages claiming to be from the IRS or to be about your taxes