Fraud Alert IRS Scams


In October 2015 the IRS released IRS Special Edition Tax Tip 2015-18, warning taxpayers of a growing trend in scammers pretending to be tax collectors from the IRS. Criminals will call taxpayers claiming the taxpayer owes a tax bill. They demand immediate payment and often threaten arrest if you do not make payment plans immediately.


It is important to note that they will change their tactics and the way they present their demand to try and throw people off. However, there are some common traits to their scams to look out for.

  1. They will demand immediate payment. They don’t want to give you time to think. If you do they are concerned that you will have second thoughts and realize it is a scam.
  2. They will typically try to use the appearance of authority to intimidate you. Often, they will call claiming to be an IRS agent, even offering a badge number.
  3. They will typically use fear to their advantage. The fear of owing the IRS money is enough to get people motivated to avoid being on the wrong side of the IRS. However, scammers have stepped up their game recently claiming that a warrant will be issued to local authorities to arrest you.


One way to avoid being a victim is to know how the IRS operates

  1. The IRS will not call and demand an immediate payment. The IRS will send you a bill in the mail.
  2. The IRS will not force you to pay without allowing you the right to appeal the amount you owe.
  3. The IRS will not require a specific form of payment for taxes. Scams often require payment by Western Union, gift card, or credit card.
  4. The IRS will not ask you for your credit card number over the phone.
  5. The IRS will not threaten to have the police come and arrest you.


What you can do

  1. Don’t give out any information, hang up immediately.
  2. You can report the incident to the IRS at their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” webpage. Or you can call 800-366-4484.
  3. You can report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.



  • If you think you do owe taxes you can contact the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can assist you concerning any taxes you may owe.
  • Each and every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS. These are your Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Explore your rights and our obligations to protect them on IRS.gov.
  • For more, visit “Tax Scams and Consumer Alerts” on IRS.gov.


IRS Video

Maze Live 2017 – Cyber Security Update for Local Governments

Is your organization doing enough to reduce the risk of cyber threats?  Cyber-security is more than compliance with credit card processing.  What risks does your organization have?  Cyber-security is a prime concern today and in this session we will cover what local governments can do to reduce risk.  Presenter Donald E. Hester, CISA, CISSP, Director


Maze Live 2017 – GASB Update

GASB Update – Are you wondering what is down the pike for GASB implementation?  In this session we will cover the new GASB pronouncements effective for fiscal year 2017 and the upcoming years.


Maze Live 2017 – GASB 74 and 75: Preparing for Implementation, Disclosure and the Audit

Preparing for Audit — OPEB and Pension Liabilities (or Assets?) – In this session, we will review the new accounting and reporting rules for Other Postemployment Benefit (OPEB) plans under GASB Statements 74 and 75, with an emphasis on Statement 75 which is in effective for employers beginning in fiscal year 2017/18.  Are you ready to record the Net OPEB Liability? We will go over the Plan and Employer responsibilities under each Statement as well as the changes to the required disclosures and RSI.  We will also provide a sample journal entry for the first year of implementation.


Maze Live 2017 – Municipal Accounting Threats and Revenue Opportunities

Municipal Accounting Threats and Revenue Opportunities – Not only do good internal controls promote checks and balances in an organization, it can also reduce treats and increase revenue opportunities for a public agency.  In this session, the speaker shares his decades of experiences working in and consulting for public agencies and what he saw as good internal controls in improving revenue positions of the agencies. Mark Moses – Regional Government Services


Maze Live 2017 – Getting Ready for GASB 74 and GASB 75 Implementation

Getting Ready for GASB 74 and GASB 75 Implementation   — In this session, we will go over the implementation of GASB Statements 74 and 75 from an actuary’s prospective.  Topics includes: How to choose the various dates (measurement, implementation, and valuation), actuarial issues that a public agency can face, and what to expect from the actuary’s report.  The speaker will also allot time at the end to answer questions from the audience.


Maze Live 2017 – Single Audit Update and Common Findings

Single Audit Update and Common Findings –  In this session, we will go over the common findings auditors have come across in single audits under the new Uniform Guidance to Federal Awards.  This session will also cover the latest available draft of the Compliance Supplement.


Equifax Data Breach

It is still early in the investigation and new information continues to come to light, but it is clear that almost half of all Americans have been impacted by Equifax’s data breach. In light of this, it is hard not to rush impulsively to do something like click on a link to sign up for credit monitoring.  Scammers are already calling or emailing people to say they are with Equifax in order to trick people in disclosing personal information that can be used by other criminals to commit identity theft or infect their computers with malicious software.  This is another risk related to the breach that consumers need to be aware of.


Though it will take further time for investigators to bring to light the complete ramifications, it is evident that the impact from this breach will last for decades.

No Easy Solutions

This is a long-term problem. Identity information was stolen in the breach, including names, addresses, and Social Security Numbers (SSNs), will be usable by hackers long after the breach has been forgotten.  10-years from now individuals who had access to the content stolen in the breach could use your SSN–unless you change it.


Change your SSN?  If only that were easier. The government generally does not want you to change your SSN number. In order to accomplish this you have to show that you have been a victim and continue to be disadvantaged by using the old SSN.


Another potential solution is to place a security freeze and fraud alert on your accounts.  A security freeze alerts potential creditors not to open new accounts.  If you open a new account in the future you will need to unfreeze the account.  This will take time and may delay new loans.  This can be very difficult if you are applying for a mortgage loan.  A fraud alert puts an alert on your account to take extra steps to verify your identity before issuing new credit.



Some security & privacy professionals think Equifax should pay for credit monitoring for everyone for life.  As mentioned, this information could be used in the distant future, long after their year of free monitoring is over.   Write your congressional members and demand lifelong protection from a lifelong threat.


3 Things You Can Do
  1. Sign in up for your own credit monitoring service.  Optionally you can do a credit freeze or fraud alert on your account.
  2. Don’t use Equifax’s free monitoring or their website.
  3. Don’t listen to anyone who calls you about Equifax data breach.  Also, watch out for emails, scammers will use fear to get you to click on a link to take you to a malicious website.


To freeze your credit or start a fraud alert call the three major credit reporting agencies.

Phone numbers:
  • Equifax — 1-800-349-9960
  • Experian — 1 888 397 3742
  • TransUnion — 1-888-909-8872
More Information and Sources

These websites will cover everything you need to know. You can start with the following:
State of California Department of Justice, Information Sheet, How to “Freeze” Your Credit Files
Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Information, The Equifax Data Breach: What to Do
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, blog, Identity theft protection following the Equifax data breach, By Kristin Dohn – SEP 09, 2017
Federal Trade Commission, IdentityTheft.gov website
Social Security Administration, Frequently Asked Questions, Can I change my Social Security number?
Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Information, Equifax isn’t calling
CNN Money, Why Millennials should be really worried about the Equifax breach, by Danielle Wiener-Bronner, 15 SEP 2017
Equifax hack: What’s the worst that can happen? If you’re not worried about the Equifax hack, you should be. by David Goldman, 11 SEP 2017

Maze Live 2016 Fraud Environment

This session will provide information on some common fraud schemes relevant to most entities and provide examples of controls you can implement in your organization to decrease the risk of fraud. We will also provide an overview of the Internal Control Guidelines issued by the State Controller’s Office.
Presenters David Alvey, CPA Audit Partner and Katherine Yuen, CPA, Audit Partner


Maze Live 2016 Changes in Grant Management and How to Prepare for the Single Audit

Are you ready for the new Single Audit rules and requirements? In this session, we will go over the new Uniform Guidance to Federal Awards with a high level background and overview on the latest updates on the new single audit requirements. We will discuss how the Uniform Guidance will affect the planning considerations for year-end single audits.  We will also discuss how you can successfully prepare for the single audit and comply with the new Uniform Guidance for Federal Awards.
Presenters Nikki Apura, Audit Supervisor and Mark Wong, CPA, Audit Partner