Education

Take a closer look at that not-so-official letter

By February 26, 2019 No Comments

It’s that time of year: tax season. Which means you’re busy gathering all the documents you need to file your taxes. It also means fraudsters are working hard to trick people into falling for one of their IRS scams.

This year, fraudsters are taking their scam to mailboxes with oh-so-real looking “official” IRS documents. Here’s what you need to know to protect yourself from fraudulent IRS mail.

The Scam

Remember when we told you that the IRS would never call you unless they have already sent you a letter? Now fraudsters are taking their scams from email and phone to your mailboxes.

Fraudsters are sending letters with CP 2000 forms (which the real IRS sends when there is a discrepancy between what you report and what third-parties report) to gather your personal information, such as your name, marital status, income, Social Security number and more. In addition to gathering your personal information—so they can steal your identity and potentially file a fraudulent tax refund in your name—they may also request that you send payment immediately for overdue or adjusted taxes.

What You Should Do

  • Take a deep breathhhhhhhh… Receiving communication—real or fake—from the IRS can be a little unsettling, and fraudsters know that.
  • Put on your investigator hat. Check out the return address on the form or letter and make sure it’s a legitimate IRS address. Make sure the form you are being asked to complete is also real.
  • Only pay the Treasury Department. The IRS doesn’t accept tax payments, the U.S. Treasury Department does. Likewise, a collection agency cannot accept payments on behalf of the IRS.
  • Report it! If you receive a letter, email or call instructing you to make tax payments to a collection agency, the IRS or another entity, or asking for your personal details, report it! You can also call 800.366.4484.

How Verve Can Help

If you think your Verve account is at risk because of a suspicious letter, phone call, text message, email or any other type of scam, call Verve immediately at 800.448.9228. One of our team members can check your account for purchases you did not make and help safeguard your account against fraud.

 

It’s Verve’s goal—in line with our guiding seven Cooperative Principles—to provide education, training and information to help our members stay financially fit. Verve is committed to keeping our members educated when it comes to their finances by providing details on financial risks and ways to stay safe. Help your friends and family stay safe against this IRS letter scam by sharing this blog post.