In the last few days there has been an aggressive IRS telephone scam which has been sweeping across the country. The phone scam is performed by people posing as tax agency representatives. These individuals may call demanding immediate payment of balances due or may even claim to be trying to get more information to process a refund that you are owed. Whatever route they take, the end goal of these individuals is the same, to get your private information.

How do I know that it isn’t actually the IRS calling and that I’m being targeted by a phone scam?

The scary part of the IRS phone scam is that these imposters can sound quite convincing when they call. They may know a lot about you (i.e. being able to recite the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number), they may alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling, and they may use official sounding, but bogus, IRS identification credentials. The best way to protect yourself is to know what “red flags” indicate that the caller is not from the IRS. The IRS will never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment, nor will they call without having mailed a bill or notice first,
  • Demand that you pay taxes owed without the opportunity to appeal,
  • Require you to use a specific payment method (i.e. prepaid debit card),
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone,
  • Threaten to bring in local police or law-enforcement groups

If you receive a phone call that appears to be from the IRS but raises a red flag (or if you have an uneasy feeling in general), you should never share information with them. Get off the phone with them as soon as possible. You can always call the IRS Hotline (1-800-829-1040) to determine the legitimacy of the phone call you received. In addition, you may always feel free to contact us and we will be willing to work with you and the IRS to determine the legitimacy of the phone call.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Andrew Johnson

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