April 02, 2016

Hirono, Hawaii Advocates Warn Kupuna Of Tax Fraud

Aggressive Phone Calls By Con Artists Impersonating IRS Agents Remain A Major Threat To Taxpayers

With the federal tax filing deadline less than three weeks away, advocates joined Senator Mazie K. Hirono today to urge Hawaii seniors to be aware of tax-related scams, such as con artists pretending to be Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents by phone. Senator Hirono, along with representatives from the IRS, AARP Foundation Tax Aide program, and the Taxpayer Advocate Service shared this important message at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii.                                                                                     

“Scam artists and predators are clever in their attempts to swindle taxpayers out of their refunds. Kupuna and their families need to remain vigilant and protect themselves as we approach the tax filing deadline,” said Senator Hirono. “Mahalo to the IRS, AARP Foundation Tax Aide program, and the Taxpayer Advocate Service for joining me in this effort to protect the most vulnerable in our community.”

“Taxpayer Advocate Service applauds Senator Hirono for reaching out to the kupuna community and its advocates to raise awareness of this important issue, which affects thousands of U.S. taxpayers,” said Gayvial James of the Taxpayer Advocate Service.

“IRS Criminal Investigation will continue to fight for a level playing field for all taxpayers. Whether it is defending victims from would-be identity thieves, or assisting our law enforcement partners in the battle against scams and frauds, we will lend our unique financial investigation expertise to bring to justice the unscrupulous and felonious,” said Special Agent in Charge Teri Alexander. “We are proud to stand with Senator Hirono to warn taxpayers about IRS imposters. Education is the best weapon we have against these phone scam fraudsters.”

“Seniors deserve better in their golden years than to become victims of scammers. If you suspect that you or a loved one is being scammed, contact the AARP Fraud Watch Network to report suspicious activity, receive updates on the latest scams or talk to a live person for assistance,” said Barbara Kim Stanton, State Director of AARP Hawaii.

The IRS has seen a surge of phone scams as con artists threaten police arrest, license revocation, and even deportation. The IRS recently released its annual "Dirty Dozen" list of tax scams for the 2016 filing season.

To report suspected tax scams to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, visit https://www.treasury.gov/tigta/contact_report_scam.shtml