[8/10/16] Recent Reports Of IRS Scam
Officials are seeing an uptick in complaints again about fraudulent telephone calls claiming to be from the IRS. The calls, or voice mails, are aggressive and threaten legal action unless immediate action is taken. Some call recipients are told that law enforcement is staged and waiting to make an arrest if an immediate payment is not made. This, and other tax scams, are not unique. It’s a country-wide affliction.
To be clear – This is not how the IRS operates. According to their website, 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.
The IRS also recently reported that a new scam is surfacing where someone impersonating an IRS representative will ask you to verify your tax return information.
You do have power. The IRS recommends doing the following in response to these aggressive tactics:
• If you know you owe taxes or think you might owe, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. The IRS workers can help you with a payment issue.
• If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to believe that you do, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1-800-366-4484 or at www.tigta.gov.
• If you’ve been targeted by this scam, also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” (https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/Information?OrgCode=IRS#crnt&panel1-1) at FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your complaint.
For more information on IRS, and other telemarketing scams – go to:
• The IRS website: https://www.irs.gov/
• FBI website: https://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud
Learn more about the most common scams: The IRS’s “Dirty Dozen” scams of 2015. (https://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Completes-the-Dirty-Dozen-Tax-Scams-for-2015)