The IRS is seeing signs of two new variations of tax-related scams. One involves Social Security numbers related to tax issues and another threatens people with a tax bill from a fictional government agency. Here are some details:
• The SSN hustle. The latest twist includes scammers claiming to be able to suspend or cancel the victim’s Social Security number. In this variation, the Social Security cancellation threat scam is similar to and often associated with the IRS impersonation scam. It is yet another attempt by con artists to frighten people into returning ‘robocall’ voicemails. Scammers may mention overdue taxes in addition to threatening to cancel the person’s SSN.
• Fake tax agency. 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. The lien notification scam also likely references the IRS to confuse potential victims into thinking the letter is from a legitimate organization.The IRS and its Security Summit partners – the state tax agencies and the tax industry – remind everyone to stay alert to scams that use the IRS or reference taxes, especially in late spring and early summer as tax bills and refunds arrive. The IRS does not leave pre-recorded, urgent or threatening messages and does not use text messages or social media to discuss personal tax issues, such as those involving bills or refunds.
U.S. Department of the Treasury. Internal Revenue Service. (June 5, 2019). News Releases: IRS reminder: Tax scams continue year-round (IR-2019-104). Retrieved from https://www.irs.gov/newsroom