Secretary of State warns Massachusetts residents about tax schemes

Increase in tax schemes since start of tax filing season

BOSTON (WWLP)—Since the start of the tax filing season in January, Secretary of State William Galvin’s office has seen an increase in tax schemes. Galvin urges you to hang up on callers who ask for personal information.

If you get a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, don’t give them any personal information or make any payments. They’re likely trying to steal your money or financial information, or both.

One scheme involves individuals impersonating IRS agents and requesting payment of overdue taxes by gift cards.

“The IRS-if it does make a payment or you have a payment to make, it’s not coming through gift cards.” Galvin told 22News. “They would never ask for gift cards or debit cards.”

There are several ways you can protect yourself from tax schemes. Even if you do owe taxes and you get a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, Secretary Galvin recommends you just hang up.

“If it is in fact an IRS communication, it’s going to be in writing so once they start off by saying, ‘we’re calling from the IRS,’ you should just hang up. There’s no sense in engaging these people in communication or conversation,” Galvin said.

Some schemers may say they’ll bring in law enforcement but the IRS does not threaten police arrest for non-payment.

The IRS also does not ask for credit card numbers over the phone or demand payment without giving you the chance to appeal.