Now that tax season is officially over, and folks are breathing a sigh of relief, the scammers are really digging in. IRS scams are everywhere, bilking people out of thousands of dollars and fraudulently obtaining their personal information.
These days, you’re just as likely to get an email from a strange IP address, but traditionally, phone scams are big during tax season. So let me give you some tips on how to spot a fraudster.
The real IRS will never:
* Call to demand immediate payment using something like a prepaid debit card, gift card, or wire transfer. If the IRS wants money from you, they will send a letter first. It won’t come as a surprise.
* Threaten you. The IRS will never say they are going to bring police or any other kind of law enforcement personnel to arrest you.
* Demand tax payments without offering you the opportunity to appeal or even ask for details about the demand.
* Call you about a tax refund. They might write to you, but they won’t call you first.
If you receive such a call or even an email, note the number or the address and simply hang up. From there, it’s an easy thing to report it to the IRS directly or the Treasury Department. Just send an email with the information you collected to OIGCounsel@oig.treas.gov and firstname.lastname@example.org. In the subject line, put IRS Phone Scam. And if you have a tax issue and want us to help you resolve it, contact us for a case evaluation.