We would like to alert you to telephone and email scams that are ongoing.
Scammers are calling and claiming to be an IRS agent or someone from the U.S Treasury Department calling in reference to a problem with your tax return. They may claim that “you did not pay enough money” or that “the payment was never received and the only way to remedy this is to get money to them immediately”. To make their claim seem legitimate they will spoof their phone number so that it shows up on caller id as the IRS toll free number. They use fake names and IRS badge numbers.
Scammers are also sending emails that appear to be from the IRS and include a link to a bogus web site that mirrors the official IRS web site. These emails specify that “you are to update your IRS e-file immediately”. The emails may mention USA.gov or IRSgov; do not click on these links or respond to the emails. These emails are NOT from the IRS.
The IRS will NEVER initiate contact with you via phone, email, texting or any social media requesting personal or financial information. All initial IRS communication is via paper letters mailed to you. The IRS may call you based upon prior written or phone discussions that you made when following up on their written correspondence. The IRS NEVER asks for immediate payment on the phone; liens are only placed on assets after many months of attempted collection.
If you ever are concerned about an issue relating to the IRS or NYS or any other taxing authority, please contact us immediately at 212-662-3923 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
With the holiday season fast approaching and many worthy causes competing for limited dollars, churches and other charities are ramping up their fundraising efforts. Unfortunately, hucksters of every variety are also renewing their labors, honing their money-making skills while scanning the horizon for yet another opportunity. By some estimates, over $500 billion will be donated this year to charitable causes throughout the world. That's a huge incentive for fraud.
If you're planning to donate, watch for these signs that a fundraiser isn't on the up-and-up:
- The fly-by-night charity. Every legitimate charitable association started sometime, and some are still being formed. But natural disasters, endemics, and calamities of every type — from Hurricane Katrina to the Ebola virus — seem to spawn an inordinate share of bogus charities, outfits that love to capitalize on human suffering. Beware. Donate to charities that you trust, which generally means those with a proven track record. If you're unsure, check out the solicitor's organization with the Better Business Bureau, Charity Navigator, Guidestar, or similar watchdog group.
- The evasive fundraiser. A legitimate caller should be upfront about his or her charity, the percentage of funds allocated to administration and marketing, and what target groups will be aided by your donation. Whether you're giving to provide medical supplies, assist orphans, dig wells, support research, or some other worthy cause, don't be afraid to ask direct questions and expect direct answers. If the fundraiser seems to hedge his responses or knows little about the supposed cause to which you're contributing, consider sending your dollars elsewhere. Beware of vague claims like "educating the public" or "promoting awareness."
- The urgent e-mail. Widespread use of the Internet has provided fraudsters a golden opportunity to take the money and run. Websites made to mimic legitimate charities have conned many otherwise prudent contributors. E-mails brimming with desperate pleas for money may originate from the backroom computer of some scam artist. Never divulge your financial information via e-mail, and don't assume that social media messages about a particular charity are legitimate. Call the charity directly, and find out if it's registered in your state (if required). Ask for written information. When in doubt, check it out.
Many charitable organizations are seeking your aid to address genuine hardships. Avoid the schemes of unethical hucksters, and your donations will provide help where it's needed most.