IRS warns against scams targeting older adults and the elderly

The impersonation scams have been on the rise recently

The Internal Revenue Service, (IRS) in a national release on Wednesday, warned the public about the rise of impersonation scams targeting the elderly and older adults.

The scams are targeting older individuals by pretending to be government officials. The scammers aim to steal sensitive personal information and money by posing as representatives from agencies like the IRS.

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“Scammers often target seniors, attempting to steal personal information through phone calls, emails or text messages by pretending to be from the IRS or other agencies or businesses,” Danny Werfel, Commissioner of the IRS, said.

According to the release, the IRS has identified a concerning trend where scammers are increasingly targeting unsuspecting individuals. The victims are pressured into making immediate payments through unorthodox methods such as gift cards or wire transfers under the pretense of resolving made up tax liabilities or securing fake refunds, the IRS said.

The IRS said that if an individual receives an unexpected call from someone alleging to be from the IRS, but they have not been notified by mail about any issues with their IRS account, they should hang up immediately. The call is likely to be from a scammer, the release states.

10 News has learned the release comes as part of a wider effort taking place this week leading up to World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on Saturday, June 15. The day aims to foster a better understanding of the neglect and abuse faced by millions of older adults.

Do not return a possible scam call using the number provided by the caller or the one displayed on their caller ID. If taxpayers are uncertain about the legitimacy of IRS communications, they can contact IRS customer service for verification at 800-829-1040

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