IRS Scams and How to Protect Yourself.
Bill Ware, July 17th, 2016
I received a call a few days ago, early in the morning from one of my elderly clients. She was very upset and frightened because she had received a call from someone claiming to be an IRS agent who told her that she needed to pay her IRS bill or they would come over and take her to jail. This call was before 7am, and it was such a shock to her that she didn’t really have time to think, she almost paid them her entire amount of cash that she had in her bank account of a thousand dollars, just a foolish move away.
This is an actual example of a scam that was attempted. The people trying to steal your money just gets a list of numbers and starts calling. They accuse the unsuspecting victim of having an IRS tax problem, and threaten them with jail, deportation or license revocation if they don’t pay immediately. They give the Scammers their personal information over the telephone and from that point it is almost impossible to catch up with them because they will find a way to take your money to where you can’t get it back.
The IRS reports that over the last year there been over 5,000 victims that have been taken for over $26 million dollars. I’m listing here some common sense ways to protect yourself from these scams, because you work hard for your money.
These are the things that the IRS won’t do that let you know that this is a scam and how to protect yourself.
- Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
- Demand that you pay a bill without sending you a written notice.
- Require you to use a specific payment method, such as a prepaid debit card.
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
- Threaten to bring in local police or other law enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
What to do:
Don’t give them any money or information, ask them for their IRS identification number, and use common sense. Let them know that you are reporting this call,
If you have been a victim contact the IRS Inspector General, the phone number is 800-366-4484, the website is www.tigta.gov