Thieves have gotten sophisticated and now they program their phone to display legitimate IRS phone numbers. So when they make a call to a taxpayer or a tax office, they tell their would be victim to look up the number for IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center and verify that the caller id number is the same as the one they looked up. The thieves then call back, confident that the victim has verified the phone number will be willing to treat their call as legitimate.
As always, the important thing to remember is that the IRS ALWAYS sends letters about tax bills or money owed. They may call, but you’ll get a letter first with instructions on how to resolve the issue. Since 2013, there have been over 12,000 victims of phone scams who have been swindled out of over $63 million dollars.
For more information from the IRS on these scams or to report an attempted scam, click here.
Similarly, if you receive an email that purports to be from the IRS about a tax bill-DO NOT click on any links. It could be a ‘phishing’ scam, where a website collects personal data in order to steal someone’s identity. The thieves also send emails that pose to be from banks, tax software providers, professional associations and government agencies.
For more information, click here.