Beware of IRS Tax Scams
Sadly, telephone scam artists never go away, and when tax season heats up, IRS flimflam artists will be out in full force, looking to separate you from your hard-earned cash.
These fraudulent callers will often demand money or claim you have an unclaimed refund when they are simply trying to trick you into disclosing private information. The more skilled shakedown among them will even alter their caller ID information to dupe the unwary into thinking someone from the IRS is actually calling. However, there are five easy ways to tell if you are being scammed by a non-IRS caller:
- Demanding Immediate Payment
The IRS will first send you a bill in the mail if you have outstanding monies owed. If someone calls you claiming to be from the IRS but you have not received a bill in the mail, a thief is probably just trying to get your social security number or private bank account information.
- No Questions or Appeals
When the IRS sends you a notice for monies owed, you have a right to ask questions and appeal the bill. If someone calls you claiming to be from the IRS and does not allow you to question or appeal the bill, an individual is probably trying to coerce you into revealing private information.
- Demanding a Specific Form of Payment
If a caller claiming to be from the IRS demands a specific payment type from you, this is an obvious red flag. The caller probably can only process their scam payments via a specific method and is trying to con you into conforming to their preferred payment method.
- Asking for Credit or Debit Card Info Over the Phone
The IRS does not ask for credit card or debit card info over the phone, so this is another sure sign that someone is trying to hustle you.
A caller from the IRS will not threaten to bring in local police or other law enforcement groups to have you arrested. This is just a deceptive ploy scammers use to try to get you to disclose personal information or immediately produce a payment.
Remember: even though you have someone else prepare your taxes for you, you are still, ultimately, the one who is responsible for making sure that your taxes are done in accordance with all the proper laws.
To avoid hassles or penalties, always use professional tax preparers. If you think you may be the victim of an IRS phone scam, contact Simon Lever, and let’s start a conversation.