Vigilance saves NCO from tax scam

| February 5, 2016 | 0 Comments

Income Tax Forms

Sgt. Brandon Banzhaf
Army News Service

FORT HOOD — During this time of year, many people dread filing taxes. On the other hand, others look forward to receiving hefty refunds.

No one, however, looks forward to seeing money snatched from their accounts or for credit accounts being opened unbeknownst to them or for other effects that might result from activities of scammers and identity thieves.

One 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, noncommissioned officer recently managed to nip in the bud a potentially disastrous financial situation.

“I received my first call yesterday morning from that number (scammer) and I missed it,” said Sgt. 1st Class Mark Garcia, human resources NCOIC, 3rd ABCT. “I listened to the message today, and the message said it was urgent and to call them back. I called them this morning.”

The scammers claimed to be with the IRS, calling to inform Garcia there was an audit that discovered errors in his past filings.

“They said they messed up on a calculation, and now I have to pay for something they messed up on,” said Garcia. “I asked if he could tell me what was wrong with it, and he couldn’t tell me. He just wanted the money.”

The con artists tried to make a reasonable excuse, stating they had tried to contact him by mail, but they only had his address from 2000.

Garcia’s suspicions arose when he realized every year he files his taxes. He verifies where he lives, so if these supposed IRS agents were legitimate, they would have had his tax history and contact information.

“I told them that I need to talk to my military legal counsel and will call them back,” said Garcia. “They’ll ask you to verify your date of birth and social security number, so don’t do it.”

“If you receive a voicemail or call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, don’t call the number they give you to call back,” said Sgt. Dwayne Mazone, a paralegal NCO with the 3rd ABCT. “Go to the IRS website and call the official number. From there, you can get true and accurate information.”

2016 Tax Center

As of Monday, the Schofield Barracks Tax Center is now open for business. It’s located at Trailer 1, Grimes Street, across from Hamilton Field. To make an appointment, call 655-1040.

For more information on IRS consumer alerts, visit the official Internal Revenue Service website at https://www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Scams-Consumer-Alerts.

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Category: Army News Service, News

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