SCAMS, SCAMS, SCAMS
May 18, 2015
The Internal Revenue Service has issued a consumer alert recently providing taxpayers with tips to protect themselves from email and telephone scam artists pretending to be with the IRS.
These callers/emailers may demand money or may say that you have a refund coming to you and request your private information. DO NOT give them any information, this is a SCAM. They may even know alot about you and they also have the capabilities to alter the caller ID to camouflage it to look like an IRS phone number. They also use fake names and phony IRS identification badge numbers. If you don't answer their call they will usually leave an "urgent" message demanding you to call them back.
**Note: If your first notification from the IRS is an email, DO NOT open it. If you open the email or any of the attachments to the email this can allow the scamers to hack into your computer and steal your personal information.
According to irs.gov here are a few simple tips to determine if the phone call/email is a scam or not:
1. Call and demands immediate payment. The IRS will not call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill/ notice.
2. Demand that you pay taxes with out giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
3. Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
4. Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone or by email.
5. Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
If you receive a phone call or an email that is a scam here is what you do according to irs.gov:
*If you know you owe taxes or think you might owe, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. The IRS call center can help you with a payment issue.
*If you know you don't owe taxes or don't have a reason to believe that you do, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) AT 1-800-366-4484 or at www.tigta.gov
*You can file a complaint using the FTC Complaint Assistant (irs.gov); choose "Other" and then "Imposter Scams" . If the complaint involves someone impersonating the IRS, inclue the words "IRS Telephone Scam" in the notes.
REMEMBER, the IRS does not use unsolicited email, text messages or any social media to discuss your personal tax issue. For more information on reporting tax scams, go to www.irs.gov and type "scam" in the search box.