IRS Issues Warning to US Taxpayers

IRS Issues Warning to US Taxpayers

( – The Internal Revenue Service issued a warning on October 23 to American taxpayers about scammers who pretend to be charitable organizations in order to steal money in the aftermath of wars and natural disasters.

Officials have said that the target of such scams is often the would-be donor’s personal information and money, which would then be used to continue to abuse the victim via identity theft. Criminals trying such scams often prey on those with low English ability. They also especially prey on the elderly.

The Internal Revenue Service has issued a warning to the public that contributions to fraudulent organizations are not tax deductible. Be wary of giving to a charity before verifying its legitimacy by using the Internal Revenue Service’s Tax-Exempt Organization Search (TEOS) program. It can also help taxpayers to determine whether or not a certain organization is qualified to receive tax-deductible donations.

The IRS also warned taxpayers to not cave in to pressure or coercion from fake charities, claiming that genuine organizations would never put donors under such duress. Donating to a charity that requests a wire transfer or gift card is a sure sign that the organization is trying to swindle you out of money.

It is best to donate by sending a check or credit card once you have verified the legitimacy of the organization.

According to identity theft prevention firm IdentityIQ, the continuing crisis between Hamas and Israel has led to an increase in false charity fraud, prompting the Internal Revenue Service to issue an alert. Mike Scheumack, an officer at IdentityIQ, noted that although most people wish to assist the victims, fraudsters often take advantage of the situation to steal donations meant for the needy.

If a website or a caller states that the full dollar amount of contributions goes to the victims, says Scheumack, it is most likely a scam. Giving one hundred percent to victims is perhaps an exaggeration, since all charity organizations will have some administrative fees.

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