Watch Out For This Scam

Now this one has not happened to anyone in our family, but since I have a son in college, I was glad to learn about it so we can have our guard up.

According to John Wasik who writes a blog for Forbes on financial scams, “This latest scam has crooks calling families or students to warn them about paying a ‘federal student tax.’”

Now, to be clear…there is no such thing and nobody owes a student tax.

But here is how they try to frighten unsuspecting students:  “The caller identifies themselves as an IRS agent and demands either money or information. It’s personal data like Social Security numbers — let your student know not to give it to them — that they will use to steal their identity and create a financial nightmare.”

Here’s what the IRS has to say about this scam:

“People should be on the lookout for IRS impersonators calling students and demanding that they wire money immediately to pay a fake `federal student tax.’ If the person does not comply, the scammer becomes aggressive and threatens arrest”

“Although variations of the IRS impersonation scam continue year-round, they tend to peak when scammers find prime opportunities to strike”, said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “As students and parents enter the new school year, they should remain alert to bogus calls, including those demanding fake tax payments from students.”

The IRS will never demand a payment of any kind over the phone. One of my personal practices is to ask the caller for lots of identification and let them know that I will have to contact them once I have verified their identity.  Anyone demanding money payments over the phone is a sure giveaway that you are talking to a scammer. If they give call back information, report them to the IRS and the police.

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