Phone Scams continue to be a threat and are on the IRS “Dirty Dozen” list.
We’ve already received one phone call this year from an automated system telling us that we owe and we need to contact a person via the telephone. Knowing this is the beginning of tax season, we are taking extra steps to help ensure our neighbors and you know what is out there, so that you can protect yourself and your family.
Why do they go after us?
These people are going after you and me because this is the time of year that they know that you don’t know if you owe or are getting a refund. They want to trick you and me because in the end, they’ll take us for all we got. So, let’s work together and learn how to identify who they are, how they’ll contact us, what they’ll probably tell us, and how you should handle it.
Who are these people pretending to be the IRS?
Just last year, they found one of the tax scams were coming from India. This man from India set up a string of call centers that called a large number of our friends, neighbors and people all over our country. They swindled thousands of Americans out of millions of dollars. It doesn’t really matter what country the person is from and who is committing the scam. These scammers do it because they know that we all are afraid of owing the IRS. We’ve all heard about how ruthless the IRS can be and so we don’t always question the person on the other end of the line. This way of thinking needs to stop now, so that we can prevent these scammers from collecting one more cent.
How do the scammers contact us?
They usually use 2 methods. The first method is the dreaded phone call. The second is an email.
What are they going to tell us?
They will tell us that we owe the IRS. Sometimes the calls are automated and tell us to contact the IRS via a phone number and the other is a live person. This live person may become very threatening over the phone and try to scare you and me into making unsound decisions. They’ll tell us that the police are going to be coming to our doors and may even start insulting us. Sometimes if these people get the answering machine, they tell us that it is urgent and we need to call them back.
Okay, they’ve contacted you. Now what should you do?
Once they have contacted you there are two steps you need to do. The first step is -Hang up on them or delete that email! Never, ever give them information or click on a link in the email. The second step you should do is notify the authorities.
If you don’t owe taxes, or have no reason to think that you do:
- Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
- Contact TIGTA to report the call. Use their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” webpage. You can also call 800-366-4484.
- Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.
If you know you owe, or think you may owe tax:
- Call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you.
Yes, the scammers are still out there. They are still using these same techniques that they have used in the past. So educate yourself and tell your neighbors. If the IRS is going to contact you, they will do it through a letter in the mail. This is the only way they will contact you. They will not use the phone nor the internet/email. Let’s work together and help each other out this tax season.