It is tax time again, which means IRS scams are once again on the rise here in Houston and throughout the United States. Predictably, many of the victims of this scam are the elderly, since they are often the most vulnerable.
Victims are contacted in a variety of ways, but the most common method is to reach them by phone. In the latest IRS scams going around, the scammer will claim to be an IRS agent and either ask for personal information (to steal the senior’s identity) or demand immediate payment over the phone.
If the victim refuses to give the information or provide payment, the caller may become hostile and aggressive and threaten to have the senior arrested. This insidious method works more often than you think, so we encourage you to talk to your elderly loved ones. Here are a few of the red flags you can tell them to watch for:
- A phony IRS agent will demand immediate However, the real IRS will not call you about taxes you owe without first sending a statement.
- A scammer will not let you ask questions or request an appeal.
- The scammer may demand a specific type of payment such as a wire transfer or prepaid debit card.
- They may ask for personal information such as credit card numbers.
- The phony IRS agent may threaten to send law enforcement for non-payment.
Please be aware that some of these scammers are very convincing and they may already know some personal information that is online or apart of the public record. But, if you suspect that the person on the other end of the line is not who they say they are, just hang up and report the call to your local law enforcement authorities.
If you are worried about yourself or elderly loved ones falling victim to these types senior scams, call our Houston elder law attorneys at (281) 885-8826 so that we can help protect your finances.