By Tucker Henderson
As tax season commences, it is prudent to remember that the IRS is not the only entity seeking money. Scammers from around the globe are trying to make a dishonest buck by stealing personal and financial information.
Recently, a Perham resident received a letter that was supposedly from the Internal Revenue Service. With only a quick glance, the letter looked as if this resident was in some kind of trouble and owed a sum of money that hadn’t been accounted for previously. The further a person read the letter the easier it was to see that the letter was a scam.
Duping people out of their hard-earned money isn’t anything new, but activity increases around tax time when people are preparing their tax returns and sending off their information to the IRS. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to discern whether or not some scams are the real thing.
According to the IRS, they will never request personal or financial information over email, text, or social media in any case. This means that telephone calls, physical mail and door-knockers are the only ways for a representative from them to contact a person.
NY Mills Police Chief Bobby Berndt suggests that people shouldn’t give out any personal information. He noted that telephone calls from institutions such as Social Security do not happen. They will send their information in a written form, such as a letter or notice. If a person thinks they might be the recipient of a scam attempt, they probably are.
“Once your money is sent, it’s gone,” said Berndt.
He said that some scams can be very convincing. The best course of action is to contact the local police or sheriff’s department and discuss the letter, phone call, or unusual activity before taking any action. They will be able to tell you if any similar scams have been reported in the area and what they think of the unusual activity in question. Those who fall victim to a scam, unfortunately, there isn’t much the authorities can do, so it’s important to be proactive about malicious scams.
Tax Day is April 18, 2022 so while people get their tax documents together, remember to stay on high alert for suspicious activity regarding scams.