There are several versions of tax scams. The classic telephone con explained below continues to thrive, especially during filing season. Share these IRS phone scam prevention tips with your employees and you could save someone a big headache — that is, in addition to the big headaches they may be having, just because it’s tax time.
Here is how the IRS scam telephone call 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.
Remember! The IRS does none of these
- 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.
If you should receive one of these phone calls, the IRS says you should do these
- Hang up the phone immediately, without providing any information.
- Report these calls to the:
- Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, using the IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting form, or by calling 800-366-4484.
- Federal Trade Commission, using the FTC Complaint Assistant on FTC.gov, being sure to include “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.
How to know it’s really the IRS calling or knocking on your door