The Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration continue to hear from taxpayers who have received unsolicited calls from individuals demanding payment while fraudulently claiming to be from the IRS.
It is important for taxpayers to know that the IRS:
•Never asks for credit card, debit card or prepaid card information over the telephone.
•Never insists that taxpayers use a specific payment method to pay tax obligations
•Never requests immediate payment over the telephone and will not take enforcement action immediately following a phone conversation. Taxpayers usually receive prior notification of IRS enforcement action involving IRS tax liens or levies.
Potential phone scam victims may be told that they owe money that must be paid immediately to the IRS or they are entitled to big refunds. When unsuccessful the first time, sometimes phone scammers call back trying a new strategy.
Other characteristics of these scams include:
•Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.
•Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security number.
•Scammers spoof the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it’s the IRS calling.
•Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS emails to some victims to support their bogus calls.
•Victims hear background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call site.
•After threatening victims with jail time or driver’s license revocation, scammers hang up and others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or DMV, and the caller ID supports their claim.
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here’s what you should do:
•If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS. They can help you with a payment issue, if there really is such an issue.
•If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes (for example, you’ve never received a bill or the caller made some bogus threats as described above), then call and report the incident to IRS.
•If you’ve been targeted by this scam, you should 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.
By all means, never give any personal information to anyone over the phone and feel free to contact the office if you want us to help in this behalf.
Tags: IRS Phone Scams
Written by: Doug Rodrigues