Tax Season is Here and So Are Phone Scams - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Tax Season is Here and So Are Phone Scams

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The IRS said they never call customers and demand money over the phone. The IRS said they never call customers and demand money over the phone.
WASHINGTON- It is tax season, the time of year when people are filing documents and making sure everything is right, but it is also the time of year for phone scams, and the IRS wants people to be careful.

Getting calls from unknown numbers may not be a surprise for some, but a call telling someone to pay up or they will be arrested is another thing.

Evelyn Kenison said she used to get the calls all the time and wants other people to watch out.

"At first, it was like, 'why is the IRS contacting?" Then it was like wait a minute, this is a scam. This can't be true.'  The IRS would not call you and tell you, 'you have an arrest warrant,'" said Kenison.

That is the same thing IRS Spokesman David Tucker said they have warned people about.

"We just want people to know overall that the IRS does not initiate contact through the telephone and we don't initiate contact through email and people should be very weary if they receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS," said Tucker.

The IRS said there are more than 3,000 phone scam victims across the nation each year.  In total, they lose nearly $14 million.

They do not know exactly how the scammers are get people's numbers.  The IRS said it could be through data breeches or identity theft.

Police suggested people prepare themselves before a scam call happens.

"We can stop these scams before they even get started if people recognize it.  Identifying them before you send the money out is the best way to kind of keep these people at bay," said Sgt. Brian Vaught, Pasco Police Department.

Kenison said she used to get these calls a couple times a week for a little over a month, but she never answered.

She just wants other people to be cautious.

"Just always second guess.  Don't just take anybody for their word," said Kenison.

If you do get a suspicious call, the IRS said to call them at 1-800-829-1040 or visit their website.  They have resources about phone scams and what to do if you believe you have been targeted.