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Tax Imposter Scams
February 05, 2015

It is reported that tax imposter scams increased last year by at least 50,000 complaints.

Similar to any social engineering scam which uses pretexting to lure the victims into sophisticated identity theft scams, in a tax imposter scam, the caller may introduce himself to be a tax agent and the caller ID might even show the call to be from the tax entity.

The caller then goes on to say that you owe money, and that you need to pay immediately to avoid penalties and jail time, and that you can pay with a prepaid debit card or money transfer to stop all future harassments immediately.

Before you pay the amount that the caller is asking for, you should know that tax organizations do not contact people by phone or email for such requests and instead they send a formal mail. And, they don’t ask you to pay with a prepaid debit card money transfer but rather do not have a preference for a method of payment. The reason why tax scammers have a preference for specific payment methods is to make sure they cover their tracks to avoid detection and apprehension.

The best ways to deal with tax imposter scams include:

1. Don’t give any information until you trust the party

2. Ask for a call back number

3. Write down all available call details

4. Research the phone number

5. Hang up the phone when in doubt

6. Call the call back number to test and verify

7. Call the tax entity directly by finding the number on the Internet

8. Notify the authorities and file a compliant

9. Notify family and friends

You should take these scams seriously and take all the necessary steps to avoid becoming a victim of such simple scams. These scams are so simplistic that people can't believe the scammers can so easily defraud others and get away with the crime. Yet, the number of people falling victims to these simple scams continues to rise. Be vigilant.

PS. Identity Management Institute will soon be introducing new training programs and changes. Take advantage of current training and certification programs. Learn more now.

Until next time, be identity safe,

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