Ways to Prevent Potential Tax Scams for Seniors
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IRS Mails, But Never Calls: How to Check Potential Tax Scams for Seniors

IRS scammers often target the senior population for their deceitful tactics. Why seniors? Scammers exploit the fact that seniors are generally more trusting and may not be as familiar with technology, making them vulnerable to these hoaxes. Seniors need some more information, so they can effectively spot these potential tax scams and stop them in their tracks.

Here are ways seniors can prevent these potential tax scams:

Common Signs of Tax Scams

Tax scammers can be quite crafty, but there are some common red flags to watch out for. If seniors encounter any of the following, they must be cautious and consider the possibility that they may be dealing with a scam:

Unsolicited phone calls or emails claiming to be from the IRS

The IRS will typically initiate contact through the mail, not phone calls or emails.

Requests for immediate payment or personal information

The IRS will never demand immediate payment without first sending a bill in the mail. They will never ask for a credit card, debit card, or banking information over the phone or email.

Threats of arrest or legal action if payment is not made

Tax scammers may use aggressive tactics, like threats of arrest, deportation, or license revocation. The IRS generally does not use such methods in its communications.

Unfamiliar or suspicious email addresses or phone numbers

Scammers may also use spoofed email addresses or phone numbers that resemble official IRS contacts. Seniors must be attentive to any discrepancies.

Poor grammar or spelling in communications

Official IRS communications should be error-free, while scammers may make mistakes in their emails or text messages.

Links or attachments in emails that are not from a trusted source

These could lead to phishing websites or installing malicious software on seniors' computers, putting their personal information at risk.

How Seniors Can Verify Communications From Tax Authorities

If seniors receive a communication that they are unsure about, they must take these steps to verify its authenticity before taking any action:

  • If contacted by phone, hang up and call the IRS directly. This way, seniors can confirm whether the call was legitimate or a scam attempt.
  • If contacted by email, do not click on any links or attachments, as they could be malicious. Instead, forward the email to phishing@irs.gov for the IRS to investigate.
  • Check the official IRS website for contact information and compare it to the information provided in the communication. Scammers often spoof email addresses and phone numbers, so seniors should watch out for any inconsistencies.
  • Consult with a trusted family member, friend, or tax professional before taking any action. They may also offer valuable insight and help seniors determine the legitimacy of the communication.

What Seniors Should Do if They Suspect a Tax Scam

If seniors believe they are being targeted by a tax scammer, they must follow these steps to protect themselves and report the scammers:

  • Do not provide any personal information or make any payments. Scammers will try to coerce seniors into revealing sensitive information or pressuring them into making a payment.
  • Report the scam to the IRS by calling or visiting their website. The IRS takes scams seriously, and reports will help them track down as well as prosecute the criminals involved.
  • Report the scam to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC also investigates scams and works to protect consumers from fraud.
  • Notify the local police department and share any information about the scam. They can help protect other seniors in the community from falling victim to the same scammers.
  • Contact financial institutions to monitor for any fraudulent activity on seniors' accounts. This will help seniors quickly identify and address any unauthorized transactions.

Senior Helpers Danbury Can Help With Seniors' Daily Life

In today's world, staying vigilant and proactive in protecting oneself from tax scams is crucial. We hope this guide about potential tax scams in seniors has equipped you with the knowledge and tools needed to safeguard yourself and your senior loved ones against these deceitful tactics.

If you or a loved one are in need of in-home care assistance in Danbury, New Milford, Newtown, Fairfield County, or Litchfield County, contact Senior Helpers Danbury for compassionate and professional care.