Currently, there is a phone scam targeting American taxpayers. All taxpayers are at risk of receiving one of these calls from people who say they are calling from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), but who actually have nothing to do with the IRS. However, if you actually owe money to the agency, you may be especially vulnerable to being victimized by the scammers.
How Does the IRS Phone Scam Work?
According to news reports about the alleged scam, people who are in no way affiliated with the IRS are calling taxpayers. During the call, the scammers claim that they are from the IRS, claim that the taxpayer owes back taxes, and that bad things such as arrest, license suspension, or deportation will happen if they do not comply with the caller’s request for immediate payment by phone. The calls are convincing. Your caller ID may indicate that the IRS is calling, and the caller may have personal information about you. He may even send follow-up emails to you. If you think you owe money to the IRS, you may be more likely to believe that it really is the IRS contacting you.
Don’t Pay Over the Phone Without Verifying Information
Generally, the IRS contacts people who owe money by mail. The agency will not ask that you pay by wire transfer or pre-paid debit card. If you receive a suspicious phone call, hang up. Do not engage in a conversation. If you believe that you owe, or may owe, back taxes, call the IRS or a tax lawyer to confirm what you owe and to take the next steps.
Falling for a scam will only make your problems worse. For more information on what to do about back-tax issues, please listen to our FREE radio show. You can access the archives on our website or listen live in Oklahoma on Sundays on AM 1000 at 1:00 p.m. or on AM 740 at 4:00 p.m.