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IRS Warns Against Impersonation Scams that Target Seniors

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a warning about the rising threat of impersonation scams. The IRS indicated in its press release that these scams are targeting older adults by pretending to be government officials, aiming to steal sensitive personal information and money.

By posing as representatives from agencies such as the IRS, or other government agencies, these fraudsters use fear and deceit to exploit their victims.

Understanding the Threats
The IRS has identified a concerning trend where fraudulent actors are increasingly targeting unsuspecting individuals, particularly senior citizens, by masquerading as IRS agents. Victims are pressured into making immediate payments through unorthodox methods such as gift cards or wire transfers under the pretense of resolving fictitious tax liabilities or securing false refunds.

These scammers deploy advanced techniques to fabricate a veneer of credibility, including the manipulation of caller IDs to appear legitimate. Here are just a few examples of their schemes:

  • Impersonation of known entities: Fraudsters often pose as representatives from government agencies — including the IRS, Social Security Administration and Medicare — others in the tax community or familiar businesses and charities. By spoofing caller IDs, scammers can deceive victims into believing they are receiving legitimate communications.
  • Claims of problems or prizes: Scammers frequently fabricate urgent scenarios, such as outstanding debts or promises of significant prize winnings. Victims may be falsely informed that they owe the IRS money, are owed a tax refund, need to verify accounts or must pay fees to claim non-existent lottery winnings.
  • Pressure for immediate action: These deceitful actors create a sense of urgency, demanding that victims take immediate action without allowing time for reflection. Common tactics include threats of arrest, deportation, license suspension or computer viruses to coerce quick compliance.
  • Specified payment methods: To complicate traceability, scammers insist on unconventional payment methods, including cryptocurrency, wire transfers, payment apps or gift cards, and often require victims to provide sensitive information like gift card numbers.

IRS Joins Other Federal Agencies – Including the CFPB – To Recognize ‘World Elder Abuse Awareness Day’
The IRS indicates that this warning is part of a wider effort leading up to World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) on Saturday, June 15.

WEAAD, observed since June 15, 2006, aims to foster a better understanding of the neglect and abuse faced by millions of older adults, focusing attention on the contributing cultural, social, economic and demographic factors.

Read more.

Access the ‘Compliance Hotline’
Your League-member benefits include the Compliance Hotline — providing exclusive access to dedicated compliance experts:

Using the above phone number and email address, you can gain access to a knowledgeable team that’s ready to address all your credit union’s compliance inquiries — promptly and efficiently. With the Compliance Hotline, you can proactively respond to impromptu questions and issues by getting clarity and insight on technical topics that normally slow you down. We want to help you unlock the full potential of your League membership by leveraging the resources and support you need to navigate the complex world of compliance effortlessly. We’re ALWAYS just a phone call or email away!

Additionally, other League-member compliance resources include:

  • ViClarity
  • CU PolicyPro
  • ComplySight
  • InfoSight
  • CU Store
  • Record Retention Guide
  • GRC Technology Solutions

For more information, email Lisa Quaranta.

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