New IRS “verify call” scam
The IRS recently published a warning on their website about a new scam where criminals use technology to manipulate the phone number on your caller id. When calling, the “verify call” scammer will tell you they are with the IRS and calling from your local Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) office and are calling making a demand for a payment for taxes. If you were to question whether the call was legitimate, they would tell you to make a note of their phone number on your caller id and then look it up on IRS.gov to verify it was a legitimate call.
What you might not have known was that criminals can use technology to change the appearance of their phone number on your caller id. They used technology to make it look like they were really calling from the local TAC office.
The IRS does not usually call people, they send letters first.
If the IRS wants some information from you, they use written correspondence and send you several letters they call “notices” in the mail. The IRS will never call you on the telephone and demand payment by a credit or debit card, that is not how the IRS does business.
The IRS does not take any of these actions:
- Demand a specific type of payment such as a credit card, prepaid debit card or wire;
- Require you pay taxes without the opportunity to appeal or get more information about the amount you are said to owe;
- Threaten you with law or immigration enforcement;
- Threaten to take your drivers or business license.
When the IRS wants payment, they provide instructions for making and sending payments to the United States Treasury as you prefer.
What should you do if you are contacted in a similar scam?
First, the IRS warns to be aware and alert about tax scams not only during tax season and before the annual filing deadline, but year-round. Second, if you receive a phone scam or any IRS impersonation scam, contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at the IRS Impression Scam Reporting website or email firstname.lastname@example.org with “IRS Phone Scam.” In the subject line. Third, share this blog article with others on social media to warn them about the phone scam.
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