FBI, This Week: Be on the Lookout for Tax-Related Fraud
March 17, 2017
Tax season brings with it a spike in tax-related fraud, such as scammers trying to convince consumers to pay their taxes using iTunes and other gift cards.
Mollie Halpern: Tax season brings with it a spike in tax-related fraud.
I’m Mollie Halpern of the Bureau with FBI, This Week.
Scammers are trying to convince consumers to pay their taxes using iTunes and other gift cards. As FBI Unit Chief David Farquhar explains, however, those bogus tax payments don’t go to the IRS—they go into the pockets of criminals.
David Farquhar: What most people don’t realize is that there is a secondary market for gift cards, so the criminals are then easily able to convert a bunch of gift cards into money.
Halpern: The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, or IC3, received nearly 400 complaints about this crime in 2016. That’s a significant jump compared to the year before, when IC3 received only five complaints about it.
Farquhar: I would recommend being very leery anytime that they propose any sort of alternative payment method and there’s a sense of urgency about it. Particularly the combination of those two things is a big red flag.
Halpern: If you’re a victim of this scam, report it to www.ic3.gov.
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