Q: I heard that criminals are impersonating IRS agents with aggressive and threatening phone calls, is this true?
A: Yes, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) announced that they have received reports of roughly 896,000 contacts and have become aware of over 5,000 victims who have collectively paid over $26,500,000 as a result of the scam. Here are 5 things that the scammers often do BUT the IRS will not do:
1. Call to demand immediate payment, the IRS will never call unless it has sent you several notices in the mail.
2. Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
3. Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
4. Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
5. Threaten to bring in the local police or other law enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
Stay alert to scams that use the IRS as a lure. Tax scams can happen any time of the year! If you should receive such a call, report them to Criminal Investigations at 800-829-0433.