Senior Citizens and Churches warned of Tax Scam


The IRS has sent out an alert especially to senior citizens and churches with small congregations of mostly low-income earners that there is a scam going around that targets them. The modus operandi of the scammers is to offer tax services to unsuspecting taxpayers that promise non-existent tax refunds or credits.

IRS spokesman Mark Green said, “We routinely get reports of return-related scams during tax season,” and then went on to add that these scam reports usually become less after April 15. But this year appears to be different. Reports of scams still filter in to the IRS even past the middle of the year.

One of the main targets is small church congregations whose members, being mostly low-income earners, do not normally have a filing requirement. According to Green, “The scammers contact the churches advising them that many people in their congregation may be eligible for new tax credits or rebates, but they have to file returns to get them. They promise each individual a large refund, then offer to file the return for a substantial fee.” The scammers would normally contact church leaders and request permission to address the congregation, often enticing them by offering them a cut of their fees.

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