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Consumer Alert: IRS warns of new tax scam

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The IRS is sending out a warning about a new tax scam.  The Internal Revenue Service says, in a news release, it has received reports of “scammers calling under the guise of verifying tax return information over the phone.” The scammer try to get the taxpayer to give up personal information like social security and credit card numbers. The swindle has popped up in the past few weeks. It’s a new twist on an old phone fraud.

“These schemes continue to adapt and evolve in an attempt to catch people off guard just as they are preparing their tax returns,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in the release. “Don’t be fooled. The IRS won’t be calling you out of the blue asking you to verify your personal tax information or aggressively threatening you to make an immediate payment.”

The U.S. Treasury Department has received around 896,000 phone scam reports since October 2013. Over 5, 000 victims have” paid over $26.5 million as a result of the scam,” according to the agency. The IRS is urging taxpayers to be on guard for these “con games.” A reminder, the IRS, a bureau in the Treasury Department, does not use unsolicited emails, or text messages or social media to contact taxpayers.

By the way, if you haven’t filed your 2015 tax forums — the clock is ticking. The deadline to file for most folks is Monday, April 19.

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