Scams on the rise during tax season - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Scams on the rise during tax season

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Protecting personal information is always important but even more so during tax season as scams are on the rise.  

Nipomo resident Ruben Sanchez said he received a call from someone claiming to be the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and told him, "That I owed money to them and that I need to straighten that out, so they try to make you pay.”

Sanchez said the person on the phone requested money right away and threatened to call the police.

He hung up and didn't fall for it, but tax preparer Marcelo Ferreyra said he has met many clients who have.

“They are targeting especially older people and they target the Hispanic community in this area especially,” explained Ferreyra with Ferreyra Income Tax. “They panic very easy and I've seen where they actually pay money to these scammers and when you try to get back to them it's impossible."

Employers are also being targeted in an effort to steal employee data.

According to the Franchise Tax Board, about 100 businesses employing 126,000 people were hit by scammers last year.

The IRS will never demand a payment over the phone nor will they use email to request personal or financial information.

Individual taxpayers are asked to be cautious of phone calls or emails requesting passwords or information about credit cards or bank accounts.

The IRS or Franchise Tax Board will never threaten to contact law enforcement if a tax debt is not paid.

"If you do owe money, if you have a balance due, it's always by mail, you get notices, there is something called CP-2000 which you will get,” added Ferreyra. “But never will they call you and demand payment over the phone."

Taxpayers are asked to report tax scams and identity theft schemes. You can call the Franchise Tax Board at 800-852-5711. Businesses concerned about their employees’ information can contact the Franchise Tax Board at 916-845-7088.

Related links:
IRS Tax Scams/Consumer Alerts

Related coverage:
Scam Central

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