It’s that time of year again, the IRS scammers are at it.
The scammer may demand money or say you have a refund due and try to trick you into sharing private information. 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.
Here are five things the scammers often do but the IRS will not. Any of these are a tell-tale sign of a scam. The IRS will never:
Call to demand immediate payment, nor call about taxes owed without first having mailed a bill.
Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to 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 have police arrest you 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 know you owe taxes or think you might owe, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040.
Report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1.800.366.4484 or at www.tigta.gov.
You can file a complaint using the FTC Complaint Assistant; choose “Other” and then “Impostor Scams.” If the complaint involves someone impersonating the IRS, include the words “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.
The IRS does not use unsolicited email, text messages or any social media to discuss your personal tax issue.