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01/05/2017

CONSUMER ALERT: Fake Tax Bills Tricking Consumers

The Arkansas Attorney General warns that con artists are sending fake tax bills claiming to be from the IRS demanding immediate payment from Arkansans and threatening arrest if money is not sent. Consumers are being sent a fraudulent version of a CP2000 form for tax year 2015 as an email with an attachment or by standard mail requesting personal financial information and asking for payment via gift card, prepaid debit card or wire transfer. 

“This new play on an old scam is another shameful attempt by criminals to steal Arkansans' personal information and hard-earned money,” said Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “If Arkansans receive one of these letters they suspect may be a scam, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. And as a reminder, the IRS will never make unsolicited calls to or requests through email or social media from taxpayers for personal information.”

The following tips can be used to spot a fake tax bill:

  • The CP2000 notices appear to be issued from an Austin, Texas, address
  • The letter or email says the issue is related to the Affordable Care Act and requests information regarding 2014 coverage
  • The payment voucher lists the letter number as 105C
  • The sender requests that checks be made out to I.R.S. and sent to the “Austin Processing Center” at a post office box.

According to the IRS, the form CP2000 does exist, but it is used when income reported from a third-party source does not match the income reported on the tax return. The fake form provides little, if any, instruction to taxpayers about appealing additional money owed, but the real form provides extensive information. And some versions of the scam include a “payment” link within the email, which could be set up to steal personal information, take money or infect the computer with malware. The real notice also requests checks be made out to “United States Treasury.”

Consumers who receive this scam via email should forward it to the IRS at phishing@irs.gov and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.

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