With today’s tax deadline, this is a good time to remind you to beware of IRS phone scams.
While there are numerous “story lines,” the caller may state there’s an alleged debt that must be settled, and they require an immediate payment, or partial payment, to avoid penalties, garnished wages, or possible arrest.
Be warned: the caller ID may show IRS. The caller may offer a name and a badge number. The caller may introduce a government attorney that is supposedly working the case. The caller could have your social security number or offer the last four digits.
In all of these cases, it is NOT the IRS. The Internal Revenue Service has always maintained their first contact regarding a possible issue will be through official correspondence you receive in the mail. It will NOT be a phone call, a text or an email!
Here are some more red flags to watch out for:
- The IRS will never ask for credit or debt card information by phone.
- The IRS will never insist on a specific payment method.
- The IRS does not take enforcement actions after a phone call.
- The IRS does not threaten citizens with arrest by the police or any other authorities.
- The IRS does not demand payment without allowing you to question the amount owed or appeal.
So what should you do if you receive one of these calls? Hang up.
If you’re worried there might be an issue with the IRS, your bank account, or a credit card account, call the agency or institution directly. But note that you should use the phone number listed on your statement or from their official website.
Unfortunately, these scams are more prevalent during tax time. In addition, our elderly population is especially vulnerable to these types of phone scams, so please forward this information or discuss with them directly.