As the tax season is approaching, so are an increasing number of IRS scams. According to WBIW – a radio station broadcast, the Washington County Sheriff’s Department is reporting a significantly higher number of scams with newer techniques and advanced technology. The scammers are using threats and fake caller IDs to mislead people.
Sheriff Roger Newlon states, “One of the more common scams involve callers, who threaten to arrest or prosecute if money is not immediately paid.” In other cases, scammers might attempt to use technology to mask a caller ID to make it seem like the call is coming from the IRS. The majority of these calls come from overseas phone services.
There are a variety of ways to avoid being scammed. Scammers may use cunning means to deceit you, however, their approach does not reciprocate to actual IRS demands. Therefore, it can be an obvious catch if you observe the following signs:
The IRS will Never:
- Call to demand immediate payments for back taxes.
- Call about taxes owed without first having MAILED you a tax bill
- Deny you an opportunity to question or appeal their claim for IRS tax relief.
- Require you to use a specific payment method for paying your taxes such as iTunes cards, Greendot Pre-paid cards or wire services such as Western Union or MoneyGram.
- Threaten to bring in the local police or other law enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
- Ask for your banking information over the telephone.
- Send you an email.
Once you are aware of these signs and you encounter one of these attempts, it is important to immediately hang up and contact the IRS at (800)829-1040. You can also report the incident to your local law enforcement agency, as well as file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. This will assist in the goal to eliminate these scammers.