TEXARKANA, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – Texarkana police are warning the public to beware of a scheme to make fraudulent purchases for large dollar amounts using a tax form.
Police say a potential customer will enter a business to make a purchase – typically a big-ticket item like a car or major appliance.
When it is time to discuss payment, the scammer gives the business a filled-out IRS 1099-A form, saying they have a huge amount of money in a government trust.
Police say the scheme only works if the scammer is able to convince the business that they can submit the form and the government will make a direct payment from the buyer’s Social Security Trust Fund. They present the form as a currency that works like a third-party check.
To entice reluctant businesses with a sweeter deal, the buyer will offer to pay 5% over the purchase price as a bonus for accepting the 1099-A.
Texarkana police say they reached out to a tax professional in the area who told them that is not the way 1099-A forms work.
“A local tax professional told us, ‘This is some crazy crap! It is complete nonsense. These forms are used by banks and auto lenders when you fail to pay off a loan and then you wind up having to pick up the unpaid balance as income on your tax return. No unsuspecting business or individuals need to get caught up in this.'”
TTPD says this scheme is slick and persuasive, and they are urging local businesses to not take the bait. Any business that falls for this will be left holding the bag. Any business owner or seller of big-ticket items should notify the police immediately.