We’ve started to consider income taxes as those 1099 and W-2 forms move in. The criminals out there have also started to think about upgrading their scam techniques. This article would serve as a guide on how to determine if the person calling is truly an IRS agent or a criminal, as this happens to be the most common means of scamming people.
- First assume it is a scam: The IRS does not call people asking them to immediately pay their taxes, instead they will send a message to you via mail. In the event that you truly have taxes due for payment, it’s best you call the IRS with this number: 800-829-1040.
- Quickly end the call: Try as much as possible not to connect with the caller. Don’t give out any form of detail; doing this will only expose you to additional fake calls. The best thing to do is to end the call.
- Report the occurrence to the IRS: If you were contacted via phone call, quickly report the event to this number: 800-366-4484 (United States Treasury Inspector General of Tax Administration). If you were contacted via email, you should forward the message straight to the IRS using this link: firstname.lastname@example.org
We believe these few simple tips will help you stay safe from the criminals.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) continue to receive reports from taxpayers saying they got false calls from people ordering payment while deceitfully claiming to be an IRS agent.
Statistically TIGTA has recorded over 90,000 complaints via their telephone hotline, till this very moment, TIGTA has recorded about 1,100 victims of scam who have mislaid an estimated $6M.
John Koskinen, an IRS Commissioner stated that “there are obvious signs that warn about these scary scams which persist at high levels all through the country. He went ahead to add that “taxpayers should not forget that their first IRS contact will never be a call from nowhere, but via official e-mail messages sent to your mail. Flag off all angry and threatening calls from individuals claiming they are IRS agents and demanding quick payment. This is never how the IRS operates! You should quickly end the call and contact the IRS or TIGTA”.
In addition, it is very essential for taxpayers to understand how the IRS operates. Take note that:
- The IRS will never demand that you use a certain payment system to make tax payments
- The IRS will never ask for information of your debit card, credit card, or prepaid card over the phone
- The IRS will never demand instant payment over the phone and will not immediately take any enforcement action after a phone call. Taxpayers normally get early notifications of IRS enforcement actions.
Potential victims of phone scam may perhaps be reminded of their overdue taxes that must be paid to the IRS immediately or they’re entitled to huge refunds. In the event that they failed on the first try, oftentimes the criminals call back using a new technique.
Other features of these scams consist of:
- Scammers might be able to narrate the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number.
- Scammers make use of false IRS badge numbers and names. They usually make use of a common name and surname to identify them.
- Scammers manipulate the IRS toll free number to make it look like it is the IRS truly calling.
- Scammers from time to time send out false e-mail messages to few victims to assist their fake calls.
- Victims sometimes hear noise of other ongoing calls on the background being conducted to imitate a call site.
- After intimidating and frightening victims with license revocation, arrests, jail time and so on, scammers end the call and soon someone else calls back claiming to be from the police and the caller ID backs their claim.
You should be careful with the fraudsters! In case of any call or message that appears false, you should contact the IRS or TIGTA immediately.
Don’t fall victim! Help the IRS and TIGTA apprehend these crooks!