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Protect Yourself from Online Scams

Protect Yourself from Online Scams

We live in a day and age where phishing email scams, attempts to gain our personal data without our consent, and cyber security concerns are at an all-time high. We have had clients fall victim to both phone and email scams, and illegal attempts to gain their personal information.

For example, many of our clients, and people all over the country people, have or will receive unsolicited phone calls, emails, or other communications from individuals fraudulently claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or other Federal government agencies. They will harass, threaten, and attempt to intimidate by  demanding immediate payment by money order, gift card, debit card, or other means to settle a tax debt.  They may also claim that assets and homes may be seized, criminal penalties apply, and even that U.S. Marshalls will show up to arrest any individuals that fail to comply.

The best was to protect yourself is to know exactly what the IRS will and will not do. The IRS and the United States Tax Court does not want anyone to be victimized by a tax scam.  It is important that you know that both the IRS nor the United States Tax Court will never do any of the following:

  • call or email demanding payment of Court fees or taxes;
  • call or email threatening arrest;
  • call or email insisting that a specific payment method be used to pay a tax debt
  • requesting credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

The IRS posts excellent information which includes current warnings and alerts about all types of tax scams on its website. This also includes specific information about how to report tax scams at https://www.irs.gov/uac/tax-scams-consumer-alerts.  In addition, you may file a consumer complaint about a tax scam with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/#&panel1-1.  These websites are maintained by the IRS and FTC.

Bayntree Wealth Advisors, located in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona, provides comprehensive financial planning and wealth management. The Bayntree team specializes in all aspects of financial health, including retirement planning, risk management, investment advice, tax strategies, estate planning and insurance.

Bayntree does not provide specific legal or tax advice. Please consult with your tax advisor or legal professional for guidance with your individual situation

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