• Beware of tax scams: How to know you're dealing with real IRS

    By: John Knicely

    Updated:

    SEATTLE - The deadline to file your 2018 tax return or file for an automatic six-month extension is 11:59 p.m. Monday.  

    IRS agents tell KIRO 7 with the pressure surrounding tax day people are more likely to fall victim to scams. So, KIRO 7 found out how to make sure you’re really dealing with the IRS.

    Justin Campbell is the special agent in charge of the Seattle office for the Department of Treasury. He told KIRO 7 on Monday they are seeing a lot of high pressure phone scams and email phishing scams.

    “No matter how highly educated you are you'll get an email that looks like it's from the IRS,” Campbell said. “It'll have the right banners, it'll have a link on it. If you do click on it, it will take you to a very legitimate website that looks like the IRS website. Don't even click on anything. (If) you get an email from the IRS, just delete it.”

    In June 2018 a Nigerian man was sentenced for a tax scam that stole $11.6 million.  It included many victims in Western Washington. Emmanuel Kazeem was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison in Eugene, Oregon.

    There's only one way the IRS is going to contact you.

    “You get a letter from the IRS, it'll set up an appointment for you,” Campbell said.  “You'll have someone to reach out to, to come into an IRS office to sit down with an IRS employee. That's the surefire way to know you're dealing with the IRS, and not some scammer.”

    The scammers work year-round, but now is a time when people are more likely to fall victim because of the tax deadline.

    “Hang up on the callers, delete the emails,” Campbell said.  “And you'll keep yourself safe.”

    The IRS provides various payment options for taxpayers who owe but can't pay in full. Click here to read more. 


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