Scammers Are Now Sending out Fake Letters from the IRS

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IRS scammers have some new tricks up their sleeves!

Scammers have long impersonated the IRS to try to trick people into handing over their personal information or paying money. They often do this by calling people on the phone and asking about an overdue “tax bill.” The IRS very rarely calls people on the phone to ask for payment, which means many taxpayers are catching on to this scam.

But now, Forbes reports, some scammers are disguising themselves a bit more skillfully by sending letters instead. Unlike a phone call, it can be difficult for taxpayers to tell whether a letter is really from the IRS or not.

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One scam involves a letter about taxes that are owed to the “Bureau of Tax Enforcement.” The letter threatens an IRS lien or levy, which may make it sound legit. But there is no such thing as the Bureau of Tax Enforcement, and these letters are 100% a scam.

Other fake IRS letters include different warnings, like a notice that a warrant for arrest has been issued for a taxpayer because of unpaid taxes.

Sometimes these letters are made even more confusing and scary by the fact that they reference actual tax debts. This information is available to the public in some cases, though, so just because a letter includes factual info doesn’t mean it’s not a scam.

So, how can you tell that a letter really is from the IRS?

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First, it will usually arrive in a government envelope with the IRS seal. It will also include a notice or letter number, your truncated tax ID number, the tax year(s) in question, and IRS contact information. It will also include information about your rights as a taxpayer. The IRS will never threaten to arrest or deport you.

If in doubt, call the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040.