Older adults warned about IRS scam

Taxes, IRS Generic
(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN)  – The IRS and advocates for older adults are warning people about IRS scams that pop up during tax season.

In one of the latest scams, a letter is sent purportedly from the IRS telling someone there is a problem with their income taxes because of the Affordable Care Act.

The scam letter claims you owe taxes related to the Affordable Care Act from the 2015 tax year.

The notice is labeled “CP2000” and  says to send payment to the IRS care of an Austin, Texas, post office.

“The scam artists have been busy,” IRS Spokesman Mark Green said. “This is the time of the year where they send voicemails, contact you through social media or text message saying you owe money.”

He continued, “We strongly encourage people to hang up if you get a call from any individual saying you owe money because it is a scam.”

The Council on Aging of Middle Tennessee has received calls from older adults who have been contacted either through a letter, email, text message or phone call demanding money.

One voicemail claims the person is going to be sued by the IRS if they do not pay immediately.

“That is a common thing we see in these types of scams, they tell the person they must pay right away,” Council on Aging of Middle Tennessee Grace Smith said. “They play on fear.”

The Council on Aging keeps track of scams targeting older adults and provides a scam of the month as a way to educate the public.

“They are asking you to verify your personal information, like your social security number,” Smith said.”[Older] adults tend to be more isolated and they may be more receptive to talk to people on the phone because they don’t have a lot of people calling them.”

The IRS wants you to remember they will never contact you via email or by phone.

The agency also has a special section on it’s website about scams. Helpful information about avoiding email scams are also on the site.

The FiftyForward organization also has helpful information and can help those who have fallen victim to a scam.

The organization has case workers who will work with you and police.

Right now the organization is helping a woman who was targeted inside of her retirement facility by another woman who stole her pain medication.

“That woman was slick as a button I have never seen someone that slick,” the woman who asked not to be identified said. “I feel violated and stupid in a way, but I was taken advantage of by her.”

The woman could have more victims in the Nashville area. Metro police are still investigating the theft.

FiftyForwad’s Victory Over Crime offers support, case management, legal system advocacy, homemaker services, counseling, referral to community services and volunteer assistance, according to the organization’s website.

The FiftyForward Victory Over Crime program also helps assigned individuals with safety planning, daily household needs, transportation and support at court hearings.