The IRS phone scam continues in spite of efforts made by the IRS and law enforcement agencies. Before the IRS phone scam, fraudsters had been using the IRS name and logo in phishing attempts; sending fraudulent emails to taxpayers to extract sensitive information.
Scammers also began calling people over the phone, presenting themselves as IRS agents and asking them to transfer money owed for alleged back taxes to a bank account. If you receive any unsolicited call that asks you to share your personal/financial information or instructs you to transfer money, you may use the following tips:
- Do not provide personal information or immediately comply with any demands, and confirm the identity of the caller. Ask to return the call.
- In order to determine if you currently have a tax debt, contact the IRS at 1.800.829.1040.
- If you suspect that the call is bogus, file a complaint using the FTC Complaint Assistant.
It’s unlikely that the IRS will have a telephone conversation with the taxpayer as part of the initial collection process. The typical procedure that the IRS follows to inform and collect is to send paper notices through the mail.
Scammers use intimidation and aggressive tactics to scare taxpayers into responding to their demands. Exercising caution is the best strategy for dealing with potential scammers.