Watch out for con artists posing over the phone as representatives of the IRS. It’s an old idea,but treasury and IRS officials say thousands of people have fallen for increasingly sophisticated phone scams designed to steal money or identities.
The IRS recently issued a fresh warning, saying the scams may come in various forms. In recent months people have reported “a particularly aggressive phone scam,” the IRS said. In some cases, callers tell victims that they are “entitled to big refunds, or that they owe money that must be paid immediately to the IRS”.
The IRS says it “will always send taxpayers a written notifications of any tax due via the U.S.Mail”. The IRS “never asks for credit-card, debit-card or prepaid- card information over the phone.
If you receive such a call, just hang up- and consider the following advice from the IRS.
- Call the IRS at 800-829-1040 if you think you owe taxes, or think you might.
- If you are sure you don’t owe taxes, or have no reason to think you might, report suspicious calls to the Treasury inspector general for tax administration at 1-800-366-4484.
- Contact the Federal Trade Commission (ftc.gov) and use its “FTC Complaint Assistant” on that site. “Please add IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your complaint,” the IRS says.
For more information, go to irs.gov and type in “scam” in the search box.