September 5, 2014
IRS Phone Scams Continue; Five Easy Ways to Spot Suspicious Calls
In the last couple of weeks, our office has been contacted by people worried about a call from the IRS they received.
The IRS recently issued a consumer alert providing taxpayers with additional tips to protect themselves from telephone scam artists calling and pretending to be with the IRS.
These callers may demand money or may say you have a refund due and try to trick you into sharing private information. These con artists can sound convincing when they call. They may know a lot about you, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling. They use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. If you don’t answer, they often leave an “urgent” callback request.
The IRS reminds people that they can know pretty easily when a supposed IRS caller is a fake. Here are five things the scammers often do but the IRS will not do. Any one of these five things is a tell-tale sign of a scam. The IRS will never:
|1.||Call you about taxes you owe without first mailing you an official notice.|
|2.||Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.|
|3.||Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.|
|4.||Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.|
|5.||Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.|
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, here’s what you should do:
|-||Contact us and we will contact the IRS and find out what the issue is;|
|-||If you know you owe taxes or think you might owe, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS workers can help you with a payment issue;|
|-||If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to believe that you do, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1.800.366.4484 or at www.tigta.gov.|
|-||If you’ve been targeted by this scam, also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at FTC.gov. Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments of your complaint.
Remember, too, the IRS does not use unsolicited email, text messages or any social media to discuss your personal tax issue.