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Watch them tax e-mails!
Posted by on
I got this in the Government channels this morning. Though I would pass it on.

********************
Subject: FW: IR-2008-011: IRS Warns of New E-Mail and Telephone Scams
Using the IRS Name; Advance Payment Scams Starting

Also thought you might want to pass along this timely warning came from
the IRS Newswire. It can also be found on the IRS web site at
http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=178061,00.html.

IRS Warns of New E-Mail and Telephone Scams Using IRS Name; Advance
Payment Scams Starting

WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service today warned taxpayers to
beware of several current e-mail and telephone scams that use the IRS
name as a lure. The IRS expects such scams to continue through the end
of tax return filing season and beyond.

The IRS cautioned taxpayers to be on the lookout for scams involving
proposed advance payment checks. Although the government has not yet
enacted an economic stimulus package in which the IRS would provide
advance payments, known informally as rebates to many Americans, a scam
which uses the proposed rebates as bait has already cropped up.

The goal of the scams is to trick people into revealing personal and
financial information, such as Social Security, bank account or credit
card numbers, which the scammers can used to commit identity theft.

Typically, identity thieves use a victim's personal and financial data
to empty the victim's financial accounts, run up charges on the victim's
existing credit cards, apply for new loans, credit cards, services or
benefits in the victim's name, file fraudulent tax returns or even
commit crimes. Most of these fraudulent activities can be committed
electronically from a remote location, including overseas. Committing
these activities in cyberspace allows scamsters to act quickly and cover
their tracks before the victim becomes aware of the theft.

People whose identities have been stolen can spend months or years - and
their hard-earned money - cleaning up the mess thieves have made of
their reputations and credit records. In the meantime, victims may lose
job opportunities, may be refused loans, education, housing or cars, or
even get arrested for crimes they didn't commit.

The most recent scams brought to IRS attention are described below.

Rebate Phone Call

At least one scheme using the word "rebate" as part of the lure has been
identified. In that scam, consumers receive a phone call from someone
identifying himself as an IRS employee. The caller tells the targeted
victim that he is eligible for a sizable rebate for filing his taxes
early. The caller then states that he needs the target's bank account
information for the direct deposit of the rebate. If the target refuses,
he is told that he cannot receive the rebate.

This phone call is a scam. No legislation has yet been enacted that
would allow the IRS to provide advance payments to taxpayers or that
determines the details of those payments. Moreover, the IRS does not
force taxpayers to use direct deposit. Those who opt for direct deposit
do so by completing the appropriate section of their tax return, with
bank routing and account information, when they file; the IRS does not
gather the information by telephone.

Refund e-Mail

The IRS has seen several variations of a refund-related bogus e-mail
which falsely claims to come from the IRS, tells the recipient that he
or she is eligible for a tax refund for a specific amount, and instructs
the recipient to click on a link in the e-mail to access a refund claim
form. The form asks the recipient to enter personal information that the
scamsters can then used to access the e-mail recipient's bank or credit
card account.

In a new wrinkle, the current version of the refund scam includes two
paragraphs that appear to be directed toward tax-exempt organizations
that distribute funds to other organizations or individuals. The e-mail
contains the name and supposed signature of the Director of the IRS's
Exempt Organizations business division.

This e-mail is a phony. The IRS does not send unsolicited e-mail about
tax account matters to individual, business, tax-exempt or other
taxpayers.

Filing a tax return is the only way to apply for a tax refund; there is
no separate application form. Taxpayers who wish to find out if they are
due a refund from their last annual tax return filing may use the
"Where's My Refund?
"
interactive application on the IRS Web site at IRS.gov. The only
official IRS Web site is located at www.irs.gov.

Audit e-Mail

Another new scam brought to IRS attention contains features not seen
before by the IRS. Using a technique calculated to get almost anyone's
attention, the e-mail notifies the recipient that his or her tax return
will be audited. This is the first scam of which the IRS is aware that
uses this to get the victim to respond.

Unusual for a scam e-mail, it may contain a salutation in the body
addressed to the specific recipient by name. Most scam e-mails seen by
the IRS are sent using the same technique used by spammers, in which
hundreds of thousands of messages are sent to potential victims based on
Internet address. Because of the volume, the typical scam e-mail is not
personalized.

This e-mail instructs the recipient to click on links to complete forms
with personal and account information, which the scammers will used to
commit identity theft.

This e-mail is a phony. The IRS does not send unsolicited, tax-account
related e-mails to taxpayers.

Changes to Tax Law e-Mail

This bogus e-mail is addressed to businesses, accountants and "Treasury"
managers. It instructs them to download information on tax law changes
by clicking on a series of links to publications on businesses, estate
taxes, excise taxes, exempt organizations and IRAs and other retirement
plans. The IRS believes that clicking on a link downloads malware onto
the recipient's computer. Malware is malicious code that can take over
the victim's computer hard drive, giving someone remote access to the
computer, or it could look for passwords and other information and send
them to the scamster. There are other types of malware, as well.

The urls contained in the link are not legitimate IRS Web addresses. All
IRS.gov Web page addresses begin with http://www.irs.gov/.

Paper Check Phone Call

In a current telephone scam, a caller claims to be an IRS employee who
is calling because the IRS sent a check to the individual being called.
The caller states that because the check has not been cashed, the IRS
wants to verify the individual's bank account number. The caller may
have a foreign accent.

In reality, the IRS leaves it entirely up to the individual to choose to
cash or not cash a paper check. The IRS has no business need to know,
and does not ask for, bank account or similar information, except when
taxpayers indicate on their tax return that they are opting for the
direct electronic deposit of their refund. In that case, however, it is
the individual's responsibility to provide the IRS with the correct bank
routing and account numbers on the tax return; the IRS does not contact
taxpayers to verify the information.

What to Do

Anyone wishing to access the IRS Web site should initiate contact by
typing the IRS.gov address into their Internet address window, rather
than clicking on a link in an e-mail or opening an attachment.

Those who have received a questionable e-mail claiming to come from the
IRS may forward it to a mailbox the IRS has established to receive such
e-mails, phishing@irs.gov, using instructions contained in an article on
IRS.gov titled "How to Protect Yourself from Suspicious E-Mails or
Phishing Schemes
."
Following the instructions will help the IRS track the suspicious e-mail
to its origins and shut down the scam. Find the article by visiting
IRS.gov and entering the words "suspicious e-mails" into the search box
in the upper right corner of the front page.

Those who have received a questionable telephone call that claims to
come from the IRS may also use the phishing@irs.gov mailbox to notify
the IRS of the scam.

The IRS has issued previous warnings on scams that use the IRS to lure
victims into believing the scam is legitimate. More information on
identity theft, phishing and telephone scams using the IRS name, logo or
spoofed (copied) Web site is available on the IRS Web site at IRS.gov.
Enter the terms "phishing," "identity theft" or "e-mail scams" into the
search box in the upper right corner of the front page.
     
Read 12 RepliesAdd reply
User Replies:
Anonymous on 2008-02-13:
Don't let greed get the best ou you, good luck!
MRM on 2008-02-13:
You weren't ban from this site after all!
Anonymous on 2008-02-13:
Strange things happen eh MRM?
Principissa on 2008-02-13:
Good info Lids. The saddest thing is that there will be people who fall for this.
Anonymous on 2008-02-13:
Thanks Principissa, I know this is not really important like D.TV and a bad FOF or anything else like that but I just thought someone might like to know.

I gave you (BA)
Anonymous on 2008-02-13:
Sounds like our friends from Nigeria are hard at work again. Good info Lid's, thanks.
MRM on 2008-02-13:
Lidman, stop using abbreviations as they can be confusing to your loyal readers. Please inform your loyal readers of the following abbreviations: D.TV, FOF, and BA.
Anonymous on 2008-02-13:
MRM, I forgot you were a little slow. LOL! Sorry
D.TV = Direct TV
FOF = Fish sammie
BA = Best Answer
MRM on 2008-02-13:
How am I supposed to know the Direct Tv, Fish Sammie, and Best Answer is related to the IRS scam? Its not good to abbrev in unrelated topics... YOU DIGG...
Anonymous on 2008-02-13:
MRM, forgive me how stupid could I be I mean you are the King of jelly donuts and here I go doing something like this, I will swim the English Channel this after noon and then send you a box of Jelly Donuts from KK or DD which ever you prefer! Will this take care of things now?
MRM on 2008-02-13:
Cornucopias of jelly donuts from Dunkin Donuts will last me for weeks!
Anonymous on 2008-02-13:
Thanks, Lidman. I think the best advice for everyone is not to open any e-mails unless they are from someone you know. If something ever sounds too good to be true, it's a scam!
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Rebate Dates for your perusal
Posted by on
Stimulus Payment Schedule for Tax Returns Received and Processed by April 15

Economic stimulus payments will be issued according to the last two-digits of the main filer's Social Security number. People who use direct deposit also will be among the first to receive the payments starting May 2. Paper checks will be put in the mail starting May 16.

DIRECT DEPOSIT

Last two SSN digits: Payment will be transmitted:
00 through 20 May 2
21 through 75 May 9
76 through 99 May 16

PAPER CHECK

Last two SSN digits: Payments will be mailed by:
00 through 09 May 16
10 through 18 May 23
19 through 25 May 30
26 through 38 June 6
39 through 51 June 13
52 through 63 June 20
64 through 75 June 27
76 through 87 July 4
88 through 99 July 11

People who file a return after April 15 will receive their economic stimulus
payment, but probably about two weeks later than the schedule shows. A
return must be filed by October 15 in order to receive a stimulus payment
this year.


Thought this might interest you all. I was surprised to see that they would be sending them out so soon.
     
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User Replies:
GothicSmurf on 2008-03-17:
Thanks much for this! And that reminds me that I need to get my taxes done!
CrystalSword on 2008-03-17:
Thank you so much for the heads up on this, looks like we could have it before vacation!
Aerocave on 2008-03-17:
It is amazing how fast the government can act on things when they feel the need to do so...
Starlord on 2008-03-18:
Just one thing for everyone to remember. Congress tried everything it could NOT to let this payment be made to the people. All you who love to bad-mouth the President should remember or realize that if it were not for him, you would not be getting this stimulus funding. How about for onece, we give credit where it is due?
PleasedAsPunch on 2008-03-18:
The sad side of this is Starlord: We are in the current state of Governmental affairs we are in now BECAUSE of the current president and his cabinet. Don't be so quick to defend him. Perhaps his conscience got the better of him and he's pushed this through so dilligently, for the reasons following: (?... Who knows...) Aside from the war being such a financial burden on the tax payers and the families that physically sacrifice everyday, missing their loved ones, the OTHER reason this country is in such bad shape is because George W. Bush has his hand so far into the oil companys' pockets (he owns oil, himself, ya know) that there is NO way he is going to stop the snowball that is the Price Of Oil. He is making too much of a profit on it. He would be slitting his own throat. And maybe, just maybe we are getting this small, measley pitance of a "stimulus payment" to quiet the public and appease the masses. George may afterall have a conscience.... NAH!!!!
Anonymous on 2008-03-18:
If you go to www.irs.gov and click on the REBATE Questions link you can see how much your check will be.
PleasedAsPunch on 2008-03-18:
Yet they waste all that money in postage to TELL us how much it will be and it's as easy as going to a website? Incredulous!
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Single Mother/head of Household Audits!
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA -- IRS is auditing head of household/single parents at an alarming rate!! Totally picking on lower middle class. I have been audited twice in 2 years!! What in the heck is going on and what can be done? They are complete bullies!! Nothing has changed since 2007 however they want me to jump through hoops, understand their legal jargon and provide documentation they already have!!!

I have been a single mom for 6 years and provided sole support for my daughter. I have always had a job and NEVER applied for government benefits.
     
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User Replies:
clutzycook on 2013-06-05:
There must be something in your deducations and filings that are raising the red flags. My parents have been audited at least 3 times in the last decade, but it's primarily because my dad is self-employed (and his past accountants were less than honest.)
FoDaddy on 2013-06-05:
I have to agree with clutzycook. There has to be a reason for it, and it's likely some things that you're trying to deduct that are flagging your account.
Whiteduck on 2013-06-05:
There's been a rash of unscrupulous tax preparers illegally obtaining large refunds for people that don't deserve it by using the EIC and other credits. I imagine you get the EIC and the IRS is trying to catch the illegal ones, catching you in the round up. Annoying, yes, but probably understandable.
yoke on 2013-06-05:
With what is going on in the IRS it does not surprise me. Sad that the IRS is allowed to do this to the hard working people.
Chaparrita on 2013-06-05:
The IRS has been auditing me very year since 2005. They keep finding money here and there that I supposedly "owe." I am a single working class person with no kids. Why they pick on me, I wish I knew.
BigAl on 2013-06-06:
They very well could have audited you at random the first time and found some questionable things. That makes you a candidate for future audits. If nothing was found at this followup audit you will probably not hear from them for a long time.
To Chapparrrita> The reason they keep picking on you is because they keep finding money you owe. Now you know.
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Be careful of rebate scams
Posted by on
Even before Congress passes an economic stimulus package, identity thieves are using promises of tax rebates to trick people into revealing financial and personal data, the Internal Revenue Service warned Wednesday.

Under one scheme, the IRS said, people are receiving phone calls telling them they can only receive a rebate if they provide bank account information for a direct deposit.

The tax agency stressed that it does not collect information by telephone and that no legislation has been enacted that would allow it to provide advance payments to taxpayers or that specifies the details of those payments.

Read more from CNN

* I can attest to this. Last year, I got a phone call from someone asking for this information. I asked how they got my phone number (as they called me on my cell phone.) They said they got it off my tax forms. When I pointed out that there was no phone number listed on my tax forms, they hung up.



     
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User Replies:
MRM on 2008-01-31:
Wow, thanks for warning your loyal readers, GothicSmurf.
tnchuck100 on 2008-01-31:
The ingenuity of scammers is boundless. It is a shame so many people fall for it. Good post. (VH)
Anonymous on 2008-01-31:
Thanks Gothic! useful info as always.
Principissa on 2008-01-31:
Excellent information Gothic. I absolutely love reading your posts! I hope that at least a few unsuspecting people will read this before they give their information out to these people.
Anonymous on 2008-01-31:
VH
Anonymous on 2008-01-31:
Unfortunately, these scams do very well with the unsuspecting folks that are up in years, I mean who have had a lot more life experiences. I'll be sure to especially mention this to my parents & inlaws. VH
Anonymous on 2008-01-31:
I have a co-worker that asked me where can he "sign up" for the rebate...
How do people survive being so uninformed about things like this? (VH)
CrazyRedHead on 2008-01-31:
Thank you. Voted VH.
jktshff1 on 2008-01-31:
Great info Gothic VH
Slimjim on 2008-01-31:
I hadn't heard of this. Thanks for posting it.
r nunez on 2008-02-06:
thank you for the information....we appreciate it! I will pass this on at work.....
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IRS Snatches Stimulus Refund
Posted by on
SOUTH CAROLINA -- How can the IRS snatch my stimulus money from me but yet they let Geitner slide and a 100 other companies on the Wall street scene. I know I owe the IRS 6000.00 But I am a struggling teacher and have two kids to feed. They just took the money and I asked them when did congress meet to decide this action and their excuse was everyone that owes gets money taken.

How can this happen and the companies like AIG that owe money get bailout funds. This is crooked and wrong.
     
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User Replies:
macdave on 2009-03-25:
All they did was apply the stimulus check towards the debt you owe the government.
Anonymous on 2009-03-25:
I'm a teacher with a lousy salary and no dependants (ie deductables) and got a sizable check back. My goodness, how did you get tax debt like that? I am not being judgemental...I just wonder how that stuff happens to people? If they remove what they need from your check, how does anyone end up owing huge amounts?
Anonymous on 2009-03-26:
sherdy - The initial amount was probably pretty modest. The IRS tacks on huge penalties and retroactively applies usurious interest. Not hard for a modest delinquency to grow into a huge debt. Tax refunds and stimulus funds can be confiscated for a large number of reasons, owed taxes, defaulted student loans, or unpaid fines. It's good to be the king.
Anonymous on 2009-03-26:
Cowgirl, with you being a TEACHER and all you should know that this is how the game is played. Suks, huh?
Pay Uncle Sam, or he will snatch your milk money from you.
Trust me.



F on 2011-12-19:
I just got a letter from the IRS stating that I have a payment due in just over one month, and then I received another letter saying my payment is due next week. The IRS refuses to acknowledge the first letter, and they were rude, too. They interrupt, don't listen, and claim their computer system cannot very letters from them. Merry Christmas!
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2008 Stimulus Payments
Posted by on
This is the payment schedule for the 2008 Stimulus Payments. Interesting!!!

2008 Stimulus Payments from the IRS website
     
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User Replies:
Anonymous on 2008-03-27:
Don't forget to claim this as income next year and if you owe taxes from previous years don't hold your breath even if you file this year. (VH)
Anonymous on 2008-03-27:
The so-called stimulus checks will not be counted as income. Many polls show that most people will either bank the money or pay off debts.
*Brenda* on 2008-03-27:
May 9th for me! Woohoo!
jenjenn on 2008-03-28:
They're not supposed to count as income, however, this is the federal government, and anything is subject to change without notice. LOL.
Anonymous on 2008-03-28:
It's not fair. I won't receive one of those checks this year. I'm being discriminated against because I make too much money. Why should I be punished for working harder than most. Shouldn't it work the other way around? So that the more you make the bigger stimulus one should get. Poor people in this country have it made in the shade.

Good info jenjenn.. I voted your contribution 'Very Helpful'.
DebtorBasher on 2008-03-28:
I don't understand when people say it would not be considered income because they are banking it. My paychecks have been directly deposited into my bank account for years and it's still considered income...How would they know if you deposited it into your account, then spent it, or if you just cash it and spent it...you still received it and a deposit is the same as cashing it. If you tore it up and threw it away, then they would see it was never cashed.
DebtorBasher on 2008-03-28:
I feel for you Stewie!
chemman on 2008-03-28:
you know, one thing I never understood is why I have to claim a state refund of my taxes as income on my next years return? For example, let's say I make 100,000 a year and paid 10,000 in state taxes that year. I then file my taxes and find out I'm due 1,000 refund from the state. The next year I have to claim that 1,000 as income, why? I didn't make 101,000 because they gave me back 1,000 of my own money. If they gave me back the whole 10,000, I still only made 100,000 thay year right? Am I missing something, can someone explain this too me?
Anonymous on 2008-03-28:
chemman -- You only have to do that if you itemized the previous year. When you itemize you claim the amount of state tax withheld and not your actual state tax liability. So the amount of the state refund (if any) wasn't taxed in the previous tax year ergo you must settle up this tax year. Works the opposite if you owe the state. It makes perfect sense to me.
DebtorBasher on 2008-03-28:
Chemman, I don't think it is meant for us to understand.
MRM on 2008-03-28:
PassingBy, I, for one, will be deposting my rebate check in a CD account and let it compound. When I have to return the money back, there still be half of the money in the cd account.
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