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IRS: Scam Targets Asians And Low-income Taxpayers

The IRS warns of a tax scam targeting Asian residents of the Bay Area. A new tax scheme aimed at Asians and low-income Californians may include scammers charging fees to file false claims for tax credits or refunds, according to an Internal Revenue Service announcement. The agency has received reports of bogus refund schemes targeting Asian communities in the Bay Area, Fresno, Sacramento and the San Joaquin Valley. The schemes on low-income and elderly taxpayers run nation-wide, IRS spokesman Jesse Weller said.

The scams targeting Asians typically include Vietnamese, Cambodian, Laotian and Hmong communities, Weller said. Reports say that the taxpayers are promised a federal tax rebate of up to $800 and then charged hundreds of dollars in fees.

“What these scams have in common is that the promoters prey upon people in need, building false hopes,” Weller said. “When victims’ claims are rejected, their money and the promoters are long gone.”

Taxpayers should be wary of anything that sounds too good, and Weller reminded residents that taxpayers who normally don’t need to file a tax return but are entitled to a credit or refund can have their returns prepared by the IRS or a community organization for free.  

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