I think we will be hearing much more about IRS scammers between now and April 15th. Those who follow scams have been saying that as tax time comes closer, scammers will pose as IRS agents more and more.
According to the Treasury Inspector General for tax Administration, an agency that provides independent oversight of the IRS, since October 2013, people have been contacted by IRS scammers about 290,000 times. Nearly 3,000 victims have paid more than $14 million to these scammers. This may not seem to be a big part of the population here is the USA, but if you are one of those victims, you cannot afford to give money that you need to a scammer.
According to the IRS, the prime targets for IRS scammers are elderly people, recently arrived immigrants and people who do not speak English well.
Long time readers of my Hot Sheets probably know the drill very well now. But to reduce the number of victims, we need to reach those may be most vulnerable to the scammer’s pressure. If you have an elderly parent or relative, or you have connections with new immigrants or people who do not speak English as a first language, talk to them about this scam and reinsure them that the IRS does not operate like the scammers.
- The IRS will send a bill in the mail, if it thinks you owe the federal government money.
- The IRS will not call demanding payment.
- The IRS will not ask for your credit card number over the phone nor will it demand payment by prepaid gift card.
- The IRS does not send local law enforcement officers to homes or businesses on their way to collect payment or to arrest you.
If you receive a call from an IRS scammer:
- Hang up.
- Report the call to: www.treasury.gov/tigta/contact_report_scam.shtml.
- If you owe federal taxes, or think you might owe taxes, hang up and call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you with your payment questions.
- If you don’t owe taxes, call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484.
- You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.FTC.gov. Add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments in your complaint.