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Security Center

IRS Scams

IRS Scams

Scammers use every trick in their communication arsenal to steal your identity, personal financial information, money and more

Criminals can file a fake tax return using a stolen SSN in the hope that it has not already been used on another filed return. Every year starting in March the Machias Savings Bank security team fields reports of customers who didn’t know they were a victim of identity theft until they are notified their return is rejected because the SSN appears on a return already filed.

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Here Are Some Common Scams The IRS Continues to Report:


Text Message Scams

These texts reference things like COVID-19 and/or “stimulus payments.” These messages often contain bogus links claiming to be IRS websites or other online tools. Other than IRS Secure Access, the IRS does not use text messages to discuss personal tax issues, such as those involving bills or refunds.


Email Phishing Scams

The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. The IRS initiates most contacts through regular mail.


Phone Scams

The IRS does not leave pre-recorded, urgent or threatening messages. In many variations of the phone scam, victims are told if they do not call back, a warrant will be issued for their arrest. Other verbal threats include law-enforcement agency intervention, deportation, or revocation of licenses.

The IRS Will Never:


Call to Demand Immediate Payment

Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. The IRS does not use these methods for tax payments. In addition, they will also never ask for your credit or debit card numbers.


Threaten You

Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying.


Demand Taxes Be Paid

Demand that taxes be paid without giving the taxpayer the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.

Generally, the IRS will first mail a bill to any taxpayer who owes taxes. All tax payments should only be made payable to the U.S. Treasury and checks should never be made payable to third parties. For anyone who doesn’t owe taxes and has no reason to think they do: Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.

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