By: Carmen George, CPA- Manager
We issue these warnings fairly regularly, and even more so during tax season… remember, the IRS contacts all those with actual tax issues via U.S. mail. They won’t send you an email and they certainly won’t call you on the phone to address a financial matter.
But scammers are using the latter of the communication methods I just mentioned more than ever, and they are armed with information and an often aggressive tone that is sending those that fall for their scheme into a panic. The person on the other end of the line will claim to be the IRS and tell you that you owe money. They often instruct you to pay the funds through a wire transfer or pre-loaded debit card. Threats of everything from arrest to revocation of your business license often follow their instructions to pay.
Other scammers have somehow gotten a hold of at least a portion of your social security number and will recite it to you as a way to try and lend credibility to the call. There have even been reports of caller IDs being rigged to appear as though the IRS is the one calling. Additionally phony follow-up calls from people claiming to be the police and follow-up emails designed to bring the whole scam full circle have been reported.
The calls are concerning, but again, they hold no water. Another type of call you won’t receive is from someone claiming to be with the IRS stating that simply want to verify your tax information so items such as your tax return can be processed. We commonly hear that they ask for everything from bank account numbers to credit card information. The IRS won’t ask for this type of information over the phone and they never request prepaid debit card or wire transfer payments.
The IRS reports that thousands of victims have collectively paid over $26 million to IRS scammers. Don’t become a part of this statistic.
If you receive one of these calls, please report the details of what took place to the Treasury Inspector General at 800.366.4484. As always, please contact Holbrook & Manter with any questions you may have. We would be happy to assist you.