As tax season approaches we wanted to remind taxpayers to be aware of potential scams involving fake IRS telephone calls. A common scam is someone impersonating the IRS and demanding payment for a tax bill. Here is a list of ways to determine if you are dealing with a scammer. The IRS will never:
- Make initial contact through a telephone call, email, text message, or social media. The IRS will always first send you a notice in the mail. If the first time you hear from the IRS is by telephone, it is a scam.
- Demand immediate payment. Again, you will receive several notices in the mail if you owe the IRS a tax payment.
- Ask for a specific payment method. Common examples of fraud are demanding payment via gift cards, cash, or transferring money from a store such as Walmart.
- Ask for credit or debit card information over the phone.
- Threaten to get the police involved. If they tell you that the police are on their way, it is definitely a scam.
The IRS gives the following instructions if you get a call from one of these scammers:
- Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
- Contact TIGTA to report the call. Use their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page. You can also 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 are unsure if the phone call you received was legitimate or not, please do not hesitate to contact us at 616-393-0398.
Written by Mitch Green.