It's tax season and as the April filing deadline quickly approaches phone and voice phishing scams are once again on the rise.
Phone scaming and voice fishing has cost victims more than 72 million dollars since October 2013.
Aggressive criminals will pose as Internal Revenue Service agents- threatening arrest, deportation or revoking your license. All they want is to steal your personal information and money.
Phone scams can be in the form of "Robo Calls" but in some cases, it's actually a real person.
Chris Porter, CPA of PorterKinney, PC says, "the IRS will never just call you out of the blue, they are always going to send you a letter first saying you have a certain balance due...after repeated letters and if you ignore those letters eventually there might be a phone cal."
The IRS is also not going to demand immediate payment on the phone. If you get a call from a random number and they say they are the IRS, do not trust it.
The IRS won't ask for credit card or bank account information or ever threaten jail time or prosecution.
If you fall for a phone scam here are some links to report it:
For taxpayers who don’t owe taxes or don’t think they do:
- Please report IRS or Treasury-related fraudulent calls to firstname.lastname@example.org (Subject: IRS Phone Scam).
- Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately. The longer the con artist is engaged; the more opportunity he/she believes exists, potentially prompting more calls.
- Contact TIGTA to report the call. Use their IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting web page. Alternatively, 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.
For those who owe taxes or think they do:
- Call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help.
- View tax account online. Taxpayers can see their past 24 months of payment history, payoff amount and balance of each tax year owed.
Stay alert to scams that use the IRS or other legitimate companies and agencies as a lure. Tax scams can happen any time of year, not just at tax time. For more information visit Tax Scams and Consumer Alerts on IRS.gov.