The IRS continues to warn consumers to guard against scam phone calls from thieves claiming to be IRS officials. The IRS provides the following tips to help you avoid becoming a victim of these scams:
- Scammers make unsolicited calls. Thieves call taxpayers claiming to be IRS officials. They demand that the victim pay a bogus tax bill. They may also leave “urgent” call back messages.
- Callers try to scare their victims. Many use threats to intimidate and bully victims into paying. They may threaten arrest or deportation if they don’t get their money.
- Scams use caller ID spoofing. Scammers will often alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS or another agency calling. They may even use your name, address and other personal information to make the call sound official.
- Cons try new tricks all the time. Scammers will often alter their methods. Some use emails with phony phone numbers or emails, others provide actual IRS addresses for you to send the receipt for the payment.
- Scams cost victims over $23 million. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, or TIGTA, has received reports of about 736,000 scam contacts since October 2013 and nearly 4,550 victims have collectively paid over $23 million as a result of scams.
The IRS will not:
- Call you to demand immediate payment.
- Demand that you pay without allowing you to question or appeal the amount you owe.
- Require you pay your taxes a certain way, for example using a pre-paid debit card.
- Ask you for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
- Threaten to bring in police or other law enforcement agencies to arrest you.
If you know you don’t owe taxes, or have no reason to think that you do:
- Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately,
- Contact TIGTA to report the call. Click HERE to report online or call 800.366.4484
- Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Click HERE and add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.
If you know you owe, or think you may owe:
- Call the IRS at 800.829.1040