Western New York has already felt the sting of IRS scams when one man in Wheatfield paid $8,000 to the "IRS". Now that we are deep into tax season, lets look over some of the many scams that happen when people claim to be the 'IRS' in many different ways to be more aware.

According to the Buffalo News: The man was contacted via phone and was told there had been a problem with his taxes every year since 2008 and ended up giving the scam artist $8,000 to clear the 'problem'.

The victim said the suspect on the phone called him first on Friday and threatened that there were warrants for his arrest and hung up. He said another call with a “911” caller ID was a man, possibly of Indian descent, who said he was an agent from the Niagara County Sheriff’s Department. The “agent” told him if he paid $3,000 the warrants would be canceled.


He was told to go to Office Max, CVS and Rite Aid and purchase several VISA gift cards in $500 increments and then provide the numbers over the phone, which he did. He was then told they needed an additional $5,000 to clear all the problems with his income tax filings and the victim said he purchased more $500 cards.

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    Phone Scam

    This is like that man in Wheatfield who was scammed weeks ago. The IRS will only contact you by phone after they have tried to write you over and over again. When someone calls and threatens jail time or warrants for your arrest, always hang up and call the IRS on your own.

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    One of the biggest targets for phishing is the elderly, who may not be familiar as much with computers. When you see an email or website claiming to get a hold of you, never dish out your information--that is all they are after. The IRS will never contact you via 'website' or your email.

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    Tax Preparer Scams

    You may not expect this one, but it does happen. The USA reported that this is what usually happens: "There are thousands of tax preparers out there who would love to prepare and file your return for you. Most of them are honest, but some aren't. The scammers among them might engage in identity theft and other kinds of tax fraud. Remember that even when someone else prepares your tax return (and most taxpayers these days do use a preparer), you're the one responsible for what's in it."

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    Charity Sams

    Scammers will try to ironically, time it out so that when you get your tax return, shortly after you get a letter from a charity saying they were informed by the IRS that you got your refund and is wondering if you will make a donation. Usually, it is a familiar charity that you know about. This one stinks particularly, because it preys on our good nature instinct.

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    Identity Theft

    You may not even know you're getting scammed because it happened months ago. You may be waiting for your tax return, but somebody already claimed it because they've stolen your identity in the past. Getting your social security number allows the scam artist to file in your name. This one the IRS is still combating and is slowly making progress.