Apple Bank’s Fraud Prevention team keeps a close eye on scammer behavior and tactics, helping to educate and protect our customers across NY and NJ. During tax season, we often see a significant rise in reports relating to tax scams, so we’ve compiled a quick guide to help you stay vigilant and understand how these scams work.
Tax scams involve criminals who impersonate IRS agents, government employees or tax collectors. They may contact you through phone, text, email, or regular mail in an effort to trick you into sending money for taxes, penalties or fees you don’t actually owe.
If you’re contacted, be aware of the following statements that are commonly used by tax scammers:
- “We are calling from the FDIC, and we need your bank information”
- “We will cancel your Social Security number”
- “Your identity was stolen; purchase gift cards to fix it”
- “If you do not call us back, you will be arrested, deported, have your driver’s license revoked.”
- “Click here to see some details about your tax refund”
- “You owe Federal Student Tax.” (NOTE: This tax does not exist.)
See a pattern here? Most scammers will do their best to frighten their targets, coercing them into acting now to save themselves from some sort of penalty.
The IRS will never:
- Initiate contact with taxpayers by email, social media channels, text messages or phone calls to request personal information
- Accept payments via gift cards
- Leave pre-recorded, urgent or threatening voicemails
- Ask you to mail them cash
- Ask you to wire them money
- Demand that you turn over the funds in your bank accounts to them for “safekeeping”
If you suspect that an email, text, or phone call is from someone impersonating an IRS agent:
- Forward email messages that claim to be from the IRS to [email protected]. Do not open the attachments or clock any links.
- Report IRS scams online https://www.tigta.gov/
- Call Apple Bank’s CustomerLine at (914)-902-2775