These Are the Ways You Won’t Get Scammed in Tax Season

Poor Katie B. writes The Watchdog that someone from the Internal Revenue Service called her and said that unless she paid $2,000 in back taxes, patrol cars were coming to her house.She believed them.But after she paid $2,000 in Google Play gift cards (I didn't know there is such a thing), they asked for $500 more."This is when I knew it was a scam," she says.YA THINK? I'm losing it: THE IRS DOESN'T CALL. THE IRS DOESN'T TAKE PAYMENT IN GOOGLE PLAY CARDS.Calm down, Watchdog. Breathe. Updating Ben Franklin's comment that in this world nothing can be certain except death and taxes: now it's death, taxes, and tax scams.The Watchdog here shares some of the slimier tax scams of 2018, called the "Dirty Dozen by the IRS.PHISHING: The IRS does not initiate contact by email about a bill or a tax refund. Emails purporting to be from the IRS are fake. Don't click on them. Same goes for emails that claim to be from your bank, credit card, favorite store or others. Half the time, they're not real. If you give them the info they want (Social Security number or password or credit card information), they'll make your life a holy hell.The IRS warns, "Criminals go to great lengths to create websites that appear legitimate but contain phony log-in pages."PHONE SCAMS: Everyone I know has gotten one of these calls. A man with a foreign accent tells you he is an IRS officer and you are in deep trouble. The IRS says, "Many phone scams use threats to intimidate and bully a victim into paying. They may even threaten to arrest, deport or revoke the driver's license of their victim if they don't get the money." (See Katie B.)  Continue reading...

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