We have probably all heard of fraudulent phone calls from groups posing as the IRS. The caller typically demands money or says you have a refund due and asks for private information. If you don’t cooperate, they threaten you with asset seizure, jail time, or other actions. These scams are very pervasive, as I have personally received three of them in the past week. Do not give these callers any personal information.
In a release regarding these calls the IRS, states that they will never:
1. Call to demand immediate payment, nor will we call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
2. Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
3. Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
4. Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
5. Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
If, or should I say “when,” you get one of these calls if you think you may owe the IRS you can call them at 800-829-1040 to determine if your account is in good order with them. If you know that you don’t owe any taxes or have no reason to believe that you do, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 800-366-4484 or at www.tigta.gov. Additionally, the IRS suggests that you file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission using using the FTC Complaint Assistant; choose “Other” and then “Imposter Scams.” If the complaint involves someone impersonating the IRS, include the words “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.
The IRS does not use unsolicited e-mail, text messages, or other social media to discuss your personal tax issues. Their first point of contact is usually a letter sent through the United States Postal Service. Be aware of any contact that is not sent by mail.