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IRS Phone Scams and What You Need To Know

IRS Phone Scams and What You Need To Know

Have you ever received a threatening phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS?

Are you wondering if the IRS employee who just called you threatening you, is really an IRS employee?

People across the U.S are already receiving threatening phone calls this year. These phone calls are from someone claiming to be with the IRS demanding immediate payment. Who is actually calling and what should you do about it?

IRS Phone Scams Cost Americans 26.5 Million Dollars

In an article recently published by The Detroit News, those threatening calls are made by phone scammers. Since October of 2013, 900,000 scammer contacts were reported. Those scammers have cost over 5,000 people 26.5 million dollars.

Sometimes these scammers even have personal information about you, personal information like the last four digits of your social security number.

The scammers even go as far to tell you that criminal charges will be filed unless you make the payment immediately.

Man Arrested and Charged For Alleged IRS Phone Scam

In December, a Florida man was charged and arrested for an IRS phone scam. Allegedly, according NBC Washington, this man convinced a woman she owed money to the IRS and got her to transfer the money to the bank account he gave her.

She reported to police that he called her saying he was from the IRS and if she didn’t pay immediately, she would go to court.

According to that same NBC article, it is uncommon for police to trace and track down these kinds of phone scammers.

Warning Signs It’s a Scammer

So, how do you know it’s a scammer and not the IRS? Back in 2014, the IRS released information that will help.

First, here is what the IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said about the scams,

“Taxpayers should remember their first contact with the IRS will not be a call from out of the blue, but through official correspondence sent through the mail. A big red flag for these scams are angry, threatening calls from people who say they are from the IRS and urging immediate payment. This is not how we operate. People should hang up immediately and contact TIGTA or the IRS.”

Other warning signs it’s a scammer

  • The IRS will not ask you for a credit card, debit card, or a prepaid card information over the phone.
  • The IRS will never demand the taxpayer use a specific payment method.
  • The IRS will never ask for immediate payment over the phone.
  • The IRS will not enforce action immediately over the phone.
  • The IRS reports that these scammers will use common fake names and fake badge numbers.
  • Scammers may even send emails claiming to be from the IRS to help support their call.

What To Do If A Scammer Calls You

  • If you do not owe taxes and a scammer calls you, report the incident to TIGTA at 1.800.366.4484.
  • If you do owe taxes or think you might owe taxes and a scammer calls you, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040 for help from an IRS employee.

Final Thoughts

If you think you might or are be facing criminal charges for tax fraud, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. Please call my office today:

248-348-7400 or 586-530-1000

This article was published on: January 27, 2016 and was last modified July 8, 2016