As taxpayers are working to file their taxes, criminals are also hard at work — attempting to steal their money. While there are several versions of tax scams, the classic telephone con continues to thrive, especially during filing season. As a reminder, here’s how the scam works:
• Scammers call taxpayers telling them they owe taxes and face arrest if they don’t pay. Sometimes, the first call is a recording, asking taxpayers to call back to clear up a tax matter or face arrest.
• When taxpayers call back, the scammers often use threatening and hostile language. The thief claims the taxpayers may pay their debts using a gift card, other pre-paid cards or wire transfers.
• Taxpayers who comply lose their money to the scammers.
Taxpayers should remember that the IRS does not:
• Call taxpayers demanding immediate payment using a specific payment method, but will first mail a bill.
• Threaten to have taxpayers arrested for not paying taxes.
• Demand payment without giving taxpayers an opportunity to question or appeal the amount the IRS believes they owe.
• Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
Taxpayers who receive these phone calls should:
• Hang up the phone immediately, without providing any information.
• Report these calls to the:
o Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, using the IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting form, or by calling 800-366-4484.
o Federal Trade Commission, using the FTC Complaint Assistant on FTC.gov, being sure to include “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.
#IRSTaxTip: IRS Phone Scam Intensifies During Filing Season. https://go.usa.gov/xQqAY