There have been many scams in recent years where people impersonate authorities in an attempt to gain access to your personal information. The most common we have seen is scammers who pose as the IRS. They call or email unsuspecting individuals demanding information and threatening to call the police if you don’t comply. The IRS explains on this website:
The IRS will NOT:
Call to demand immediate payment using specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS first mails a bill to taxpayers who owe taxes. If the IRS assigns a case to a Private Debt Collector (PCA), both the IRS and the authorized collection agency send a letter to the taxpayer. Payment is always to the United States Treasury.
Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying.
Demand payment of taxes without giving the taxpayer the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
Please keep your guard up and do not provide your personal information to anyone whose identity you can’t confirm. If you have parents or other elderly relatives who you worry might be targeted by these scammers, talk to them about it too. If your parents refuse to talk about this and other financial topics, you might want to read this article for tips. We are happy to help you have these very important conversations as well.
-Chris Benson, CPA/PFS
The views expressed represent the opinions of L.K. Benson & Company and are subject to change. These views are not intended as a forecast, a guarantee of future results, investment recommendation, or an offer to buy or sell any securities. The information provided is of a general nature and should not be construed as investment advice or to provide any investment, tax, financial or legal advice or service to any person. Please see Additional Disclosures more information.