Most of us want to be compliant tax payers and live in peace. After all, the IRS is a powerful collection agency that can instill a lot of fear in the average law abiding citizen. It is that very fear that fraudsters are using to con people into giving them money by impersonating IRS agents. Here are some clues to help you know that is NOT the IRS calling you.
Tip #1 The IRS would not initiate a call about a tax debt. Your first contact from the IRS is a polite and respectful letter. Then, you get follow-up letters before and after your account gets moved to collections. If you have not received a letter, then hang up. You are NOT talking to the IRS.
TIP #2 The IRS does not threaten to bring local police or other law enforcement to arrest you for not paying. This is a bullying tactic used very often because it is effective. Tricks like these are your clue to hang up. You are NOT talking to the IRS.
TIP #3 The IRS would not demand that you immediately wire money. If you hear instruction on withdrawing cash and sending a wire, then hang up because you are NOT talking to the IRS. The IRS takes checks and gives the taxpayer an opportunity to appeal the amount due.
TIP #4 The IRS would not ask you to pay your debt using iTune gift cards, PayPal, a debit or credit card. Hang up, you are NOT talking to the IRS.
TIP #5 The IRS does not ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone. Don’t give these numbers out to someone calling you. Hang up because that is NOT the IRS calling you.
We live in an age of fraud. Fraud is sad and frustrating. Please stay informed on the latest scammer tactics to prevent becoming a victim.
If you get a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here’s what you should do.
- Do not give out ANY information
- Hang up immediately
- If you think you might owe taxes then call the IRS at 800-829-1040.The IRS has seen a surge of these phone scams as scam artists threaten arrest, deportation, license revocation and other things. The IRS reminds taxpayers to guard against all sorts of con games that arise during any filing season.”Taxpayers across the nation face a deluge of these aggressive phone scams. Don’t be fooled by callers pretending to be from the IRS in an attempt to steal your money,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “We continue to say if you are surprised to be hearing from us, then you’re not hearing from us.”
Scammers often alter caller ID numbers to make it look like the IRS or another agency is calling. The callers use IRS titles and fake badge numbers to appear legitimate. They may use the victim’s name, address and other personal information to make the call sound official. The common theme in scam phone calls is the urgency to pay immediately and the payment method.
Tax scams happen all year. Do not be afraid to hang up and call the IRS yourself. This is a common scam for the elderly so be sure to talk to aging parents about this topic. The IRS.gov web site has many articles and updates on tax scams if you want more information.
Here at CPS, we have received phone calls from several clients asking about phone calls from supposed IRS agents. These phone calls can be upsetting and unsettling. Please feel free to call us and we will be glad to talk to you about it.
Source: Internal Revenue Service
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