The IRS released a consumer alert warning many taxpayers about telephone scam artists.
The report stated some “tricks” that the con artists have used, or are likely to use, to gather personal information from tax payers.
The IRS said on its website that scammers will tend to aggressively demand money. They might tell the tax payer that they have a refund due in order to get them to share private information. Some con artists might already know some information about the taxpayer they are calling and use it to their advantage during the phone call. They may also use false arguments during the phone conversation to convince the taxpayer to give them money.
A lot of scammers will also try to alter their caller ID to make it appear the IRS is calling.
The IRS also said on its site that the con artists may try to use both fake names and fake badge numbers to force people to give up information.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration has had about 290,000 reports of scam calls since Oct. 2013. They approximate that about 3,000 people have fallen victim to scammers and have paid more than $14 million to them.
Here are some IRS Help tips, stated on its website:
- The IRS will not call to demand any immediate payment. They will also mail a bill before calling.
- The IRS will not demand payment without the opportunity to question or appeal the amount stated.
- Any IRS Payment Plan will not require a specific method of payment (such as a debit card).
- The IRS will not ask for numbers from a debit card or credit card over the phone.
- The IRS will not threaten to call local law enforcement (or any other law enforcement) to make an arrest for lack of payment.
- The IRS will not use social media or text messages to discuss personal tax problems. Some scammers will try email phishing to direct taxpayers to a fake website. DO NOT click those links.
Community Tax offers help against identity theft. If you need help, you can call at (800)444-0622.