Maybe you did owe back taxes, maybe you didn’t. We have no way of knowing whether or not you did. But we do know for certain that you never got a call from the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) telling you that you did for one very simple reason: The IRS never phones anyone to tell them they owe back taxes. So if you fell for that and paid, you were victimised, pure and simple.
Nor do they send emails, which is another way scammers target victims. Totally phony.
At MyChargeBack, we hear stories like this all the time. When we tell victims of tax scams that HMRC or the IRS doesn’t ring or email delinquent taxpayers, there are those who just don’t believe it. They don’t believe it because they were directed to the HMRC or IRS website to pay their supposed debt, and the caller told them that if they didn’t do it by the end of the day they’d be audited, arrested, indicted and thrown into a debtor’s prison. The web site looked like the real thing, so they of course believed the threat and paid online using their charge cards. But the site was fake.
Not all HMRC or IRS scams threaten you with prison to shake you down for money. Some scammers know it’s easier to catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. So, mixing metaphors, they go phishing. They call or email potential victims at random and they inform them that HMRC or the IRS owes them refunds. They’re asked you to go online to a different imitation HMRC or IRS site and fill in their credit card details so their accounts can be credited. They won’t be. Instead the scammers take the credit card information and then use it to make as many cash advances as they can. The victims won’t know about it until they get their next monthly statements.
If you’re amazed at how ingenious scams like these are, they’re nothing compared to what tax scammers can do with advanced technology. Scammers are able to hack into accountants’ computers and storage systems and download copies of client records. When the file shows that an income tax return has not yet been filed, they’ll complete the paperwork and file it for you. After you get a big refund (they make sure it’ll be big, even if it shouldn’t be) they’ll call you, pretending to be from HMRC or the IRS, and explain that the money was sent in error due to a calculation error and demand that you return it. While you think you’re paying it to HMRC or the IRS, however, you’re actually paying it to the scammers themselves.
Tax scams like these are not just a British or an American phenomenon. They’re global. Other hard-hit countries include Australia and Canada. They’re also local. Depending on where you live, local government tax agencies are also ripe, low-hanging fruit.
What makes tax scams so dangerous is that they can strike anyone anywhere and at any time. In this respect, they’re totally different from binary options, forex and CFD investment scams, which you have to opt into in order to be victimised. So if you feel you’ve been hit by any sort of tax scam, contact us at MyChargeBack for a free consultation to determine if you were and, if you were victimized, whether or not you can recover your money.