The IRS is running several awareness campaigns to inform taxpayers about phone call tax scams that are highly active across the nation now. As the tax day nears, more scammers seem to haunt taxpayers with different tricks every time. Though these fake calls are common during tax season, and people are well informed about these baits, it has turned almost unavoidable for taxpayers to fall prey. Tricksters calling homes with bogus IRS badge numbers are in the rise off late. It has become harder than ever to stay alert while we are at the last few days of tax deadline.
“This is no April Fool’s joke. Everyone should be on the lookout for threatening calls from people faking IRS phone numbers and demands for immediate payment”, the IRS Commissioner John Koskinen was quoted saying in a recent message to the American Taxpayers.
To make things clear, the IRS authorities have shared a list of things that they don’t do. This list will help taxpayers to identify and inform about the scam calls they receive. Taxpayers are requested to share any information they come to know about such fraudulent activities.
Let’s take a look at the most common trick these scammers place on taxpayers:
- The very first thing that must ring an alarm in your mind is when someone wants to discuss about your tax issues involving bills refunds and account information.
- You should not chat or talk about your personal and financial information on social media as it might act as a loophole that lets in spam mails, SMS or calls. If someone encourages you to discuss them online, then you better stay away from them.
- Scam calls will urge for immediate payment of your tax due amount and you would have not received any bill through the mail regarding the tax. This is new tax scam bait.
- You won’t be given an opportunity to think or question. Scam calls often seem authoritative and impose urgency. Don’t jump into decisions immediately; you can take your time to think if you really owe money to the IRS.
- In most case, you will be asked to use specific payment methods for paying back the taxes, like a prepaid debit card.
- The prime red signal is when someone asks for your credit card or debit card number over the phone.
- Scammers will also threaten to send local police or other law-enforcement groups to your house if you refuse to share your card details immediately over the phone.
Alright, now what if you get a phone call from someone claiming to be an IRS representative, what should you do? Here it is…
- Do you think you might owe tax this year, don’t get confused or misguided by scam calls, you just have to call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. The IRS workers will be available to help you with any info on payments.
- Do you think that you don’t owe any tax or have no reason to owe this season and worried about the anonymous call that asked you to pay your tax soon? Report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1-800-366-4484 or report it online at the IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting Page.
- You may also contact Federal Trade Commission and use their FTC Complaint Assistant at FTC.gov. If the complaint involves someone imitating the IRS, just add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes to make the message more noticeable.