It is tax filing extension season and that means IRS scam calls & voicemails are up and running. Below are some tips from the irs.gov website on these calls and voicemails:
Scammers make unsolicited calls claiming to be IRS officials. They demand that the victim pay a bogus tax bill. They con the victim into sending cash, usually through a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. They may also leave “urgent” callback requests through phone “robo-calls,” or via a phishing email.
Many phone scams use threats to intimidate and bully a victim into paying. They may even threaten to arrest, deport or revoke the license of their victim if they don’t get the money.
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.
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:
- Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
- 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.
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 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. Use their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page. You can also call 800-366-4484.
- Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.
If you know you owe, or think you may owe tax:
- Call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you.
To read more go to: https://www.irs.gov/uac/newsroom/phone-scams-continue-to-be-a-serious-threat-remain-on-irs-dirty-dozen-list-of-tax-scams-for-the-2016-filing-season
What does all of this mean?
At the end of the day the IRS will not leave a voicemail on your phone asking you to call back to any number. They also will NOT ask for your bank account or credit card information to make a payment on the phone, they will however point you to IRS.GOV website and tell you to make a payment online. Also the IRS almost always sends a letter of correspondences as the 1st point of contact on any tax issue. Think about it, if they called the 2.4 Million people estimated to be in USA to talk about tax issues they would need a lot more workers and spend a lot more money and the IRS is all about collecting money not spending it. If you get one of these calls or messages, hang up and call your accountant or the IRS (1-800-829-1040 or 1-800-829-8374), do not give your information to them or pay them any money!