This week the IRS warned taxpayers that there has been a recent increase of IRS impersonation scams in the form of automated calls. These callers are demanding tax payments and making threats against taxpayers. The recent scams are mostly “robo-calls” where scammers leave urgent callback requests through the phone telling taxpayers to call back to settle their “tax bill.” These fake calls generally claim to be the last warning before legal action is taken. Once the victim calls back, the scammers may threaten to arrest, deport or revoke the driver’s license of the victim if they don’t agree to pay. These robo-calls represent a change in tactics, because in the past it used to be a live person making the threatening scam calls.
It is important to remember that the IRS will never:
-Call to demand immediate payment over the phone, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
-Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
-Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
-Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer.
-Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money and you don’t owe taxes, here’s what you should do:
-Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
-Contact TIGTA to report the call. Use their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page or call 800-366-4484.
-Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.
-If you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS directly at 800-829-1040 Or contact the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic at Legal Aid of Arkansas at 800-967-9224, extension 6304.