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WARNING: Do Not Be Fooled by Scam IRS Phone Calls

The IRS issued a consumer alert providing taxpayers with tips to protect themselves from telephone scam artists pretending to be the IRS. These scams have always existed, but the amount of scam attempts over the course of the year has risen dramatically. The callers demand money or trick callers into believing they have an additional refund due in order to gain access to private information. This information is then used to file false claims and will lead to problems when filing in the future. The IRS wants to inform taxpayers that under no circumstance will someone from the IRS make this type of call.

Here are five things callers often do that are tell-tale signs of a scam:

  • Call you about taxes you owe without first mailing an official notice
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe
  • Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, 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 taxes

If you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be the IRS, take the following steps:

  • If you know you owe taxes or think you might owe, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040
  • If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to believe that you do, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484
  • If you’ve been targeted by this scam, also contact the Federal Trace Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at www.FTC.gov


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