IRS-Impersonation Phone Calls
Have you received an aggressive call from someone claiming to be an IRS employee? Were you threatened or insulted?
If so, you are not alone. According to the IRS, calls from scammers are up 400% this year alone!
These con artists are very convincing, going as far as giving fake names and bogus IRS badge numbers. Victims report being told they owe money to the IRS and must pay promptly through preloaded debit cards or wire transfers.
Refusal to pay results in threats of arrest, deportation, or suspension of their driver’s license. The callers are unafraid to use aggressive and hostile tactics. If a phone call is not answered, the scammers often leave an urgent callback message. Some callers are even advanced enough to make an actual IRS phone number show up on caller ID.
A few easy reminders can help you protect yourself when one of these callers strikes. The IRS will never:
1) call to demand immediate payment or call about taxes owed without first sending a bill through the U.S. mail;
2) demand that you pay taxes without giving you the chance to respond or appeal the amount owed;
3) require you to use a specific payment method;
4) ask for a credit card number over the phone;
5) or threaten to have you arrested for not paying.
Also, important to note, there is no such thing as the Federal Student Tax and the IRS will never require payment via an i-tunes gift card. Yes – scammers have really tried this!
Emails, Phishing and Malware Schemes
These emails from scammers are designed to trick taxpayers into thinking they have official communications from the IRS or others in the tax industry, including tax software companies.
When people click on these links they are taken to official looking web sites. The sites ask for social security numbers or other personal information, which could be used to file a false tax return. The sites may also carry malware, which can infect your computer, and allow criminals to track your keystrokes to gain information.
If you receive a suspicious looking email claiming to be from the IRS, forward the email or the URL of the website to the IRS at [email protected]
Scammers will attack anywhere they sense vulnerabilities and weakness. The threatening tone in their calls and emails is enough to scare anyone, but you can always protect yourself.
Question any and all correspondence asking you to provide private information or send money. Never give your information or send payment without verifying the source of the request which can easily be found on an agency or company’s website.
Scammers can only be successful if you fall victim to their lies. Take measures to protect yourself and you ensure your own financial security.