Quite often I get calls from clients telling me they’ve received calls from individuals claiming to be IRS employees. Scammers often alter caller ID to make it look like the IRS or another agency is calling. They may even know a lot about you. These callers use IRS titles and fake badge numbers to appear legitimate. They may use the victim’s name, address and other personal information to make the call sound official. Many phone scams use threats to intimidate and bully a victim into paying. They may even con you that you’re due a refund in order to get your banking or other private information.
DON’T BE SCAMMED!!
The IRS does not:
- Call you to demand immediate payment. We will not call about taxes you owe without first mailing you a bill.
- Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the chance to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
- Require you to use a certain 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 to have you arrested for not paying.
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, here’s what to do:
- If you know you owe taxes or think you might owe, call the IRS at 800-829-1040 to talk about payment options. You also may be able to set up a payment plan online at IRS.gov.
- If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to believe that you do, report the incident to TIGTA at 1-800-366-4484 or at www.tigta.gov.
- If phone scammers target you, also contact the Federal Trade Commission at FTC.gov. Use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” to report the scam. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your complaint.
Remember, the IRS currently does not use unsolicited email, text messages or any social media to discuss your personal tax issues. For more information on reporting tax scams, go to www.irs.gov and type “scam” in the search box.