Beware of tax scammers
Tax season is in full swing and the IRS wants to remind taxpayers to be on the lookout for tax scams. Criminals continue to make aggressive calls posing as IRS agents in hopes of stealing taxpayer money or personal information.
Here are some red flags that should alert you that you may be the target of a tax scam, along with actions you can take if you receive a scam call.
First off, the IRS will never:
- Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail a bill to any taxpayer who owes taxes.
- Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law enforcement groups to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying.
- Demand that taxes be paid without giving taxpayers the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
- Call unexpectedly about a tax refund.
Taxpayers who receive these phone calls should:
- Record the number and then hang up the phone immediately.
- Report the call to TIGTA using their IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting form or by calling 800-366-4484.
- Report the number to firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to put “IRS Phone Scam” in the subject line.
You are your own best line of defense. Tax scams have robbed thousands of people, millions of dollars every year, as well as their personal information. Scammers use the regular mail, telephone, or email to set up individuals, businesses, payroll and tax professionals.
The IRS doesn’t initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. Recognize the telltale signs of a scam. See also: How to know it’s really the IRS calling or knocking on your door.
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