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IRS: Beware of tax scams

Source: The Rocky Mount Telegram
By Tom Murphy
Date: May 21, 2003

On-line Scam Although the federal tax filing season ended on April 15, the Internal Revenue Service continues to see new tax scams, IRS spokeswoman Valerie Thornton said.
Two new schemes target families of those serving in the military and e-mail users. In both schemes, people represent themselves as being from the IRS, Thornton said. The IRS has seen isolated instances of the scam that targets the families of those serving in the military, she said.
The IRS warns consumers to beware of any variation of a scenario in which a telephone caller posing as an IRS employee tells a family member that he is entitled to a $4,000 refund because his relative is in the military and then requests a credit card number to cover a $42 fee for postage. The scammer provides an actual IRS toll-free number as the call back number in order to make the call seem legitimate. However, the scammer then makes numerous unauthorized purchases with the victim's credit card number.
Thornton said genuine IRS employees who call taxpayers do not ask for credit card numbers or request fees for payment of a refund.
"Tax season may be over, but tax scams continue," Thornton said. "These types of shameless schemes hold out the allure of easy money. The IRS warns taxpayers to be on the lookout for these schemes. And we urge taxpayers to remember that the IRS does not charge for refunds or solicit credit card information."
In another scheme, victims receive an e-mail that appears to be from the IRS, Thornton said. The e-mail contains links to a non-IRS Internet Web page that asks for personal and financial information, she said, and such information could be used to steal the respondent's identity and get access to sensitive financial data or accounts. Full Story

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