Lately, I and other tax professionals have received calls from taxpayers who have received phone calls of this kind. Luckily, they questioned the validity of the call. Here is the bottom line on the telephone scam to obtain your personal tax information.

 IRS continues to remind taxpayers and tax professionals that an aggressive and sophisticated telephone scam targeting taxpayers (including recent immigrants) has been making the rounds throughout the country. Callers claim to be IRS employees and sound quite convincing because they use fake names and bogus IRS ID badge numbers and usually alter the caller ID to make it look as if IRS is calling.

Victims are told they owe money to IRS and it must be paid swiftly via a wire transfer or pre-loaded debit card. Should the victim refuse to cooperate, they are threatened with arrest, deportation, or suspension of a business or driver’s license. The caller may become hostile and/or insulting. If the call isn’t answered, the fraudsters often leave an “urgent” callback request. In another variation of the scam, victims are told they are owed a refund in order to trick them into revealing personal information.

Please remember IRS will NEVER: 1) call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed a bill; 2) demand a taxpayer pay taxes without giving the opportunity to question or appeal the amount; 3) require a specific method for paying taxes, such as a pre-paid debit card; 4) ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone; or 5) threaten arrest by local police (or other law enforcement).

For assistance, please contact our office at 304.255.0204.