As tax season approaches, taxpayers should be aware of an ongoing IRS phone scam. Callers will generally contact taxpayers and represent themselves to be IRS agents and state that money is due or that a refund is available to a taxpayer and then ask for private information. The IRS warns that these scams are elaborate, using phone number spoofing to make it appear as if the call is coming from the IRS. The scammers will represent themselves as IRS agents with fake IRS identification badge numbers. They are also known to leave urgent voicemails insisting that the individual call them back.
To help identify that the caller is a fake, the IRS provided five things that scammers will often ask for which the IRS would never ask for:
- Calling and demanding an immediate payment, especially before any tax bill has first been provided.
- Demanding that taxes be paid without any opportunity to question or appeal the amount due.
- Requiring a specific payment method for taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
- Requesting credit card or debit card numbers over the phone.
- Threatening to have local police or other law-enforcement arrest you for your failure to pay.
The IRS advises that if you believe taxes are owed, to contact them at 1-800-829-1040 and speak to an IRS agent to determine if any amount is due and to resolve any payment issues.
If you believe that you do not owe any tax and you receive one of these seemingly bogus calls to report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484 or go to www.tigta.gov.