Taxpayers who get an unsolicited phone call from the IRS should be cautious – it’s probably a scam. These scammers will use your personal information to gain access to your bank or other accounts.
When a scammer calls, it might be a recording or an actual person claiming to be from the IRS. Sometimes they will tell the taxpayer they owe money and must pay right away or they have a refund waiting. They will then ask for bank account information over the phone.
Here are several tips that will help taxpayers avoid being scammed:
The real IRS will not:
- Call to demand instant payment
- Call someone if they owe taxes without first sending a bill in the mail
- Demand tax payment and not allow the taxpayer to question or appeal the amount owed
- Insist that someone pay their taxes a certain way
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone
- Threaten to bring in local police or other agencies
- Threaten a lawsuit
Taxpayers who don’t owe taxes or who have no reason to think they do should follow these steps:
- Use the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration’s IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting web page to report the scam.
- Report it to the Federal Trade Commission with the FTC Complaint Assistant on FTC.gov.
Taxpayers who think they might actually owe taxes should follow these steps:
- Ask for a call back number and an employee badge number.
- Call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.
For any questions, always consult a Certified Public Accountant.