June 13, 2024

Scammers Claiming to be the IRS on the Rise

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The IRS continues to remind taxpayers and tax professionals that an aggressive and sophisticated telephone scam targeting taxpayers has been making the rounds throughout the country. Callers claim to be IRS employees and sound quite convincing because they use fake names and bogus IRS ID badge numbers and usually alter the caller ID to make it look as if the IRS is calling.

Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid swiftly via a wire transfer or pre-loaded debit card. Should the victim refuse to cooperate, they are threatened with arrest, deportation, or suspension of a business or driver’s license. The caller may become hostile and/or insulting. If the call isn’t answered, the fraudsters often leave an “urgent” callback request. In another variation of the scam, victims are told they are owed a refund in order to trick them into revealing personal information.

Please remember the IRS will never:

  1. Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed a bill.
  1. Demand a taxpayer pay taxes without giving the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  1. Require a specific method for paying taxes, such as a pre-paid debit card.
  1. Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  1. Threaten arrest by local police or other law enforcement agencies.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here is what you should do:

  • If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS employees at that line can help you with a payment issue, if there really is such an issue.
  • If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes (for example, you’ve never received a bill or the caller made some bogus threats as described above), then call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1.800.366.4484, or Click Here to use the online form.
  • If you have additional questions or concerns, contact your enrolled agent or other tax expert for further assistance.
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