The IRS recently issued an announcement, IR-2015-99, warning taxpayers to be vigilant for tax scam artists. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration is aware of more than 4,000 victims who have reported over $20 million of financial losses as a result of tax scams. The schemes continue virtually unabated and mutating like viruses.
To help you distinguish between real contacts by the IRS and contacts by scammers, the IRS sets forth six things that it would never do.
- Angrily demand immediate payment over the phone.
- Call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
- Threaten to 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.
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
I’ll give you a couple of more signs of fraud, based on personal receipt of voice mails from scammers.
- If the caller refers to the agency as the “Internal Revenue Services,” it’s a scam.
- If the caller threatens to refer your case to “Her Majesty’s Magistrate,” it’s a scam.