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Beware of IRS phone scams

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) phone calls continue to be one of the most prevalent scams going around. Taxpayers receive an unexpected phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and are demanded to send money for a bill they owe, or are tricked into sharing private information.

These fraudsters seem very convincing when they call because they alter the caller ID, and use fake names and IRS identification badge numbers to appear legitimate.

Phone calls tend to be one of the most common ways thieves retrieve personal information from taxpayers, but you should not fall for these tricks. The IRS does not initiate conversation with taxpayers via phone, email or through social media channels to request personal or financial information. This includes requests for PIN numbers, passwords, or similar information for credit cards or financial accounts.

The IRS remind us of five things scammers often do but the IRS will not:

  1. Call to demand immediate payment, or call about taxes owed without first having mailed a bill.
  2. Demand that you pay taxes without 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.
  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 from someone claiming to be from the IRS, do not provide them any information. Try to gather as much information from them as possible. Document a callback number, their employee ID and record the number they called from. Call 800.366.4484 to confirm if the caller was actually from the IRS. If they are, call back. If not, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and email phishing@irs.gov with the subject line “IRS Phone Scam.”

If you receive an unsolicited text message, do not reply or open any attachments or links. They may contain malicious code that could infect your mobile phone or computer. Forward the text as with the originating number to 202.552.1226. Note: Standard messaging rates apply.

Because IRS phone scams occur so frequently it’s important to become educated on how to spot and prevent them from happening to you. For additional information, call Rehmann at 866.799.9580 or go to IRS.gov and type “scam” in the search bar. 

References:

https://www.irs.gov/privacy-disclosure/report-phishing

https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/scam-phone-calls-continue-irs-identifies-five-easy-ways-to-spot-suspicious-calls

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