IRS Phone Scams
IRS Phone Scams
Most people are afraid of the IRS, they are afraid they may owe more taxes then they sought, they are afraid of unexpected tax dues or other things they may have done wrong on the tax returns causing them to get into trouble with the IRS. So when they get a phone call from the IRS, they usually freak out and they usually would do whatever the person on the other line wants. If the IRS wants something, then people usually won't say no. That's why it's so easy for scammers to prey on unsuspecting taxpayers.
There are a lot of scam phone calls claiming to be from the IRS trying to scare people into giving up their personal information or sending payments. The IRS constantly warns people to be cautious of suspicious calls claiming to be them.
The IRS Identifies Five Easy Ways to Spot Suspicious Calls
The Internal Revenue Service provides additional tips to help taxpayers 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.
The Call Sounded like It's Really from the IRS
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.
"These telephone scams are being seen in every part of the country, and we urge people not to be deceived by these threatening phone calls," IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said. "We have formal processes in place for people with tax issues. The IRS respects taxpayer rights, and these angry, shake-down calls are not how we do business."
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.
What the IRS will Never Do
The IRS will never:
- Call you about taxes you owe without first mailing you an official notice.
- Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
- Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
- Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
Help! What Should I do if I get a Phone Call from the IRS?
First of all the IRS will not call you so if you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, here's what you should do:
- 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.
Help! What Should I do if I get an Email from the IRS?
Remember, too, the IRS does not use email to contact taxpayers to discuss their personal tax issues. The email is not from the IRS.
Help! What Should I do if I get a Text Message from the IRS?
The IRS does not text taxpayers about their personal tax issues, you will not be receiving a text message from the IRS, its a scam.
Help! What Should I do if the IRS Contacts me through Social Media?
The IRS does not use social media to discuss your personal tax issue.
Phone scam is an ongoing problem and many people have fallen victims to them. You need to protect yourself and outsmart these scammers so they will not be able to prey on you. There are lots of resources and books online to help you outsmart scammers.