A client recently contacted me regarding a very frightening call she received from someone claiming to be from the IRS. They told her that she was facing jail time for fraud and tax evasion. Their tactics were very aggressive and intimidating and they insisted on her sending money immediately to avoid a variety of harsh consequences. This included threats of audits, property seizure, and arrest. She is not alone. Since October 2013, 3,000 victims have reported losing more than $14 million to these telephone con artists.
If you receive a similar phone call from the "IRS" stating you need to send money immediately, you are going to be arrested, or they are filing a lawsuit against you, this is a scam! Do not provide any personal or financial information. They will try to obtain your credit card or checking account information over the phone in order to settle "past-due taxes". These crooks are taking advantage of our fear of the IRS during tax season and are aggressive, relentless, and ruthless. They will give a fake IRS badge number, they may know part of your Social Security number, and the caller ID may say "IRS".
Therefore, as a reminder, if the IRS wants to contact you, they will mail a letter. Also, the IRS does not call (as a first attempt at contact), use unsolicited email, or text messages to discuss your personal tax issue. If this happens to you, you should:
- Notify me.
- Google the phone number as many times posts will reveal if this phone number was being used in an IRS scam.
- Call the number yourself and explain that you have read IRS and press warnings of fraudulent activity and ask for the name, badge number, and division of the caller.
- Register your phone number with www.nomorobo.com; all known "robo" callers, telemarketers, and scam sources will be blocked.
- You can report it to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484.
You can file a complaint using the FTC Complaint Assistant; choose "Other" and then "Imposter Scams". If the complaint involves someone impersonating the IRS, include the words "IRS Telephone Scam" in the notes. http://ow.ly/Iaf4S
Finally, talk to your elderly friends and relatives about this as they may be targeted and more trusting. You can read more about these scams at the following link: http://ow.ly/Iafb6