The US Department of Justice announced on July 20th that they had disrupted a call center scam that targeted U.S. citizens. Specifically, these scammers impersonated the IRS and demanded money with the threat of criminal charges. Unfortunately, over 15,000 victims reportedly lost “hundreds of millions of dollars”.
According to the IRS, they will never:
- Call to demand immediate payment over the phone, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you several bills.
- Call or email you to verify your identity by asking for personal and financial information.
- Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
- Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone or e-mail.
- Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
If you receive a call claiming to be from the IRS, but you do not owe money or are unsure whether you do, the IRS suggests you:
- Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
- Contact TIGTA to report the call. Use their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page. You can also call 800-366-4484.
- Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.
If you receive a call, but you may owe money, contact your tax professional at Isdaner & Company 610-668-4200 or call the IRS at 800-829-1040.