Be Aware of IRS Phone and eMail Scams
How to identify Scams and Avoid Becoming a Victim
It’s natural for thieves to use the IRS and other government entities to ply their scams against the public through email and phone scams in order to steal your money. They can trick you into giving out your date of birth, account numbers, passwords and even your Social Security number!
These scams have reached epidemic proportions and this article will hopefully provide you with the knowledge to identify scams and avoid becoming a victim.
Always remember that the IRS never initiates contact in any other way than by U.S. mail. Therefore, should you receive an e-mail or a phone call out of the blue with no prior contact, then it is a scam. DO NOT RESPOND to the e-mail or open any links included in the e-mail. If it is a phone call, simply HANG UP.
Taxpayers need to know that the IRS
- Never asks for credit card, debit card, or prepaid card information over the telephone.
- Never insists that taxpayers use a specific payment method to pay tax obligations.
- Never requests immediate payment over the telephone.
- Will not take enforcement action immediately following a phone conversation. Taxpayers usually receive prior written notification of IRS enforcement action involving IRS tax liens or levies.
Potential phone scam victims may be told that they owe money that must be paid immediately to the IRS or, on the flip side, that they are entitled to big refunds. When unsuccessful the first time, sometimes phone scammers call back trying a new strategy. Other characteristics of these scams include the use of fake names and IRS badge numbers.
Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security number. Make sure you do not provide the rest of the number or your birth date.
- Scammers alter the IRS toll-free number that shows up on caller ID to make it appear that the IRS is calling.
- Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS e-mails to some victims to support their bogus calls.
- Victims hear background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call site.
- After threatening victims with jail time or driver’s license revocation, scammers hang up. Soon, others call back pretending to be from the local police or DMV, and the caller ID supports their claim.
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, DO NOT give the caller any information or money. Instead, you should immediately hang up. Please call our office (407-363-0890) if you are concerned about the validity of the call.
IRS E-Mail Scams
It’s important to always remember that the first contact you will receive from the IRS will be by U.S. mail. If you receive e-mail or a phone call claiming to be from the IRS, consider it a scam.
Do not respond or click through to any embedded links. Instead, help the government combat these scams by forwarding the e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unscrupulous people are out there dreaming up schemes to get your money. They become very active toward the end of the year and during tax season. They create bogus e-mails disguised as authentic e-mails from the IRS, your bank, or your credit card company, none of which ever request information that way. They are trying to trick you into divulging personal and financial information they can use to invade your bank accounts, make charges against your credit card or pretend to be you to file phony tax returns or apply for loans or credit cards. Don’t be a victim.