The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has been one of the latest companies whose name has been used to scam American taxpayers out of money. There have been many alerts warning Americans about these scams and what to look out for. Tax season is stressful enough and nobody wants to get caught in a scam. Find out more about what the IRS phone scam is, how to spot them, how to avoid them and what to do if you think you have been caught by one. Read more to stay informed and protect yourself from being a victim of the IRS phone scam this tax season.
What Is The IRS Phone Scam?
The people behind the IRS phone scam contact taxpayers and demand that they pay money owed to the IRS or they will be arrested, deported or they will have their licences taken away from them. They alter the caller ID on their phones so that it looks like you are really receiving a call from IRS. They use fake IRS titles and badge numbers to try and convince you that they are legitimate. They try to convince you that they are real by using your personal information as this makes the caller seem more official.
How Do I Spot This Scam?
There are a number of tell-tale signs that you can look out for to protect yourself from the scammers. They do a number of things that the IRS would never do. The scammers will demand immediate payment with no questions asked. Also, the IRS will never phone you about owed taxes without mailing you the bill first. The scammers don’t allow you to appeal or query the owed amount. They demand that you use specific payments methods to pay the money. They demand that you use a prepaid debit card to make the payment and will tell you that it is linked to the IRS’s EFTPS system. The EFTPS system is an automated system that is used to pay federal taxes. However, the scammers will have full control of the activities of the card and this is how they steal your money. The scammers ask for credit card numbers or debit card numbers as well social security numbers over the phone which is something the IRS would never do. They threaten to have you arrested, deported or have your licence taken away if the payment is not made which is not something that would happen immediately if you were actually dealing with the IRS.
How Can I Avoid It?
If you have been contacted by the scammers, here is what you should do to avoid being scammed. Don’t engage with them. It is best to just hang up and avoid being dragged into the scam. If you think that you may owe the IRS money, call 1 800 829 1040. You will be able to deal an official IRS employee to sort out the payments. If you are sure that you don’t owe any money, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1 800 366 4484 or at www.tigta.gov. You can also contact the Federal Trade Commission at FTC.gov to report the incident.
What To Do If You Have Been A Victim Of The IRS Phone Scam
If you have been caught by an IRS phone scam, be sure to contact the IRS on 1 800 829 4484 immediately. They have set up this number specifically for dealing with cases such as these. When you call, you will be required to describe what happened as well as provide proof of what happened.