To paraphrase the old adage, there are only three absolutes in life: death, taxes, and the rise of scams during tax season.
A major tax scam since 2013 involves phone calls by fictional IRS agents that demand immediate payment for alleged tax debts, threatening lawsuits or even jail time to those who refused to comply. The more sophisticated version of this includes spoofing a legitimate IRS phone number to fool caller-ID systems. The callers also have Social Security numbers and enough personal information to convince the taxpayer that the call is legitimate.
From October 2013 to March 2018, the Treasury Inspector General’s office identified 12,716 confirmed victims, who were swindled out of $63 million through this particular scam.
Other scammers use a carrot instead of a stick. Another significant scam claimed that consumers had been awarded a government grant for h…