The IRS has issued a consumer alert providing taxpayers with tips to protect themselves from telephone SCAM artists calling and pretending to be with the IRS. The can artists can sound convincing when they call. They may know a lot about you, and they usually alter the caller ID to show an IRS phone number. They use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers.
The IRS reminds taxpayers that they can know pretty easily when a supposed IRS caller is a fake. Listed are five things the scammers often do that the IRS will NOT do. Anyone of these five things is a tell-tale sign of a scam.
The IRS will never:
1) Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
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 local police or other law enforcement groups to have you arrested, or drivers licenses and passports revoked for not paying.
If you get such a call, you can report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1.800.366.4484 or at www.tigta.gov. You may also notify your local police department. If you have a professional tax preparer, you should contact the preparer to insure that you have no tax liability.
Remember, the IRS does NOT use email, text messages or any social media to discuss your personal tax issue.
For additional information on reporting tax scams, go to www.irs.gov and type "scam" in the search box.