Even though tax season has been over since April 18th, unfortunately, there still are scammers out there who are attempting to take advantage of taxpayers. The newest scam has begun to be reported all over the country, so please take a moment to make yourself aware of the facts and details of the scam to ensure you know what to do if such a scammer calls you.
Typical Signs of an IRS Scammer
Below are the usual signs that you’re dealing with an IRS scammer, though the details of the encounter can change between taxpayers.
A phone call that says they’re from the IRS is likely a scammer. The IRS will not ever call you out of the blue, nor will they ever attempt to contact you via social media, text message, or email. If the IRS actually attempts to contact you with some urgency, it will be by certified mail.
The Scammer Will Insist That the IRS Used Certified Mail to Contact You
When the scammer calls, they will insist that two certified mail letters have been sent to you but have been sent back as undeliverable. If you are worried if the caller is truly from the IRS, hang up the phone and call the IRS at 800-829-1040 to confirm whether or not those certified letters were sent.
The Caller Will Demand Payment for a Specific Amount on a Card and Threaten Arrest
A scam IRS call will likely demand payment for taxes of a specific amount, and demand that that payment be made on a gift card, wire transfer, or prepaid debit card – these are all methods that the IRS would never use for tax payments. After demanding payment, the scammer will also threaten to call the police and will insist that you are risking arrest for not paying your taxes to them.
The Scammer Will Tell You Not to Contact Anyone About the Payment
This person will insist that you are not allowed to question them, appeal the decision, or contact the IRS, your attorney, or even the person who prepared your taxes until after the payment has gone through. Again, simply hang up the phone and confirm with the IRS that they did try to contact you – the IRS will never say that you cannot contact them or appeal a decision.
The Caller Will Ask for a Card Number or Insist the Payment Will Be Linked to the EFTPS System
No IRS agent will ask for a credit or debit card number over the phone. The caller may try to insist that the prepaid debit card through which to remit payment is linked to the EFTPS or Electronic Federal Tax Payment System run by the Department of Treasury.
What to Do If You Suspect a Scammer
Again, hang up the phone immediately. Regardless if you think you owe money to the IRS or not, you can confirm what you owe and whether the IRS is actually trying to get in touch with you by calling 800-829-1040 or 800-366-4484. You can also report the call at the IRS Scam Reporting Page.
Contact Executive Accounting Services with more questions
If you have more questions about IRS tax scams or are looking for professional tax preparation, please contact us at 919-859-8600 or fill out our contact form.