Now is the perfect time of year for scammers who try to get your personal information. After you submit your taxes, it’s natural to hold your breath and hope that everything checks out okay. You might be waiting for a refund. This makes you a prime target for scammers who are on the prowl to get your personal data and commit identity fraud.
This is the Internal Revenue Service Calling
There’s one thing you should always keep in mind. The IRS will never call … Never! All initial correspondence with the IRS will be through the mail. If someone calls you saying they are from the Internal Revenue Service, hang up!
These phone scams can be quite sophisticated. The scammers will call you and say that they are with the IRS. They may even give you a name (fake, of course) and a “badge number.” Sometimes they may even have some of your information… enough to make you think that they are the real deal.
Two Types of IRS Phone Scams
You may be told that the IRS requires you to make a payment to them because you owe them money. They will specify a payment method. They might say that they want you to pay by using a gift card, or by making a wire transfer. These crooks might even threaten you with arrest, or tell you that your driver’s license or license to do business will be suspended.
The second type of scam these fake IRS employees will pull is to tell you that you are due a refund and that they need to verify your personal information before they can send it. Remember… The Internal Revenue Service will never call you! Don’t be tricked into revealing private information.
Convincing Tricks Scammers Will Use
Here’s how insidious these scammers are. If you are suspicious of them, they will direct you to go the IRS website and verify the number of the local IRS office. Then they will call back, with the number on their caller ID matched to that local IRS number. Do not fall for this.
They don’t always clone the phone number for the Internal Revenue Service. They have been known to look like they are calling from the local Sheriff’s office, or perhaps the Motor Vehicle Administration. If you get a call of this nature from any government office, be vigilant and do not fall prey to scammers!
Other Methods Scammers Might Use
These crooks will try other methods to reach you and try to convince you that they represent the Internal Revenue Service. They may send you an email, or even something through the mail that looks official. Always verify through the IRS that the correspondence is legitimate and be on the lookout for possible scams.
It’s a shame that we must worry about cases like this, but help is available. If you are questioning any contact you have made with someone claiming to be an agent of the IRS, feel free to call the offices of JStevens Accounting. We’ll help you inspect the correspondence before you respond. Be careful!