Keep yourself safe from this and other sophisticated schemes by:
-Know that the IRS DOES NOT initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text or ANY social media for personal or financial information. The IRS also does not call taxpayers with threats of lawsuits or arrests.
-Do not click on a link or an attachment from an unknown or suspicious source. Even if it appears to be from a familiar sender, subtle variations in the email address (such as extra letters or unnecessary numbers) should be looked for.
-Look for grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. legitimate professional organizations and agencies typically use spell check and proofreader solutions which ensure messages are sent error-free.
-Many fraudsters request money be sent via a wire or prepaid card accounts. Be on the lookout for suspicious directions for sending money--especially if the instructions request the money be sent out of country.
Keep yourself on the lookout for fraud or suspicious requests/demands. If you are being put into a stressful situation--such as a threat of fines or arrest--take a moment to step back and think about what is being demanded of you. Legitimate organizations and professional businesses DO NOT do business in this manner. You are under no obligation to continue the phone call or reply to the email. You can always reach out to the alleged organization at a known/published phone number to ask if the call was legitimate. When it comes to fraud--an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!