How do you know if you are really receiving a call from the IRS ? Here are five things IRS employees will never do:
- Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail a bill to any taxpayer who owes taxes, and if a case is assigned to a Private Collection Agency (PCA), both the IRS and the authorized collection agency will send the taxpayer a letter. Payment will always be to the United States Treasury.
- Make unexpected or threatening phone calls.
- Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have the taxpayer arrested or deported.
- Demand that taxes be paid without giving the taxpayer the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
Some scam callers may tell you that you are eligible for a huge tax refund; others may say you have unpaid taxes. All will try to get your personal information. Since 2013, over 5,000 individuals have been scammed, losing a total of $26.5 million.
What should you do if you think you are talking to a scam caller?
1. If you do not owe any taxes:
Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
Contact TIGTA to report the call. Use their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page. You can also 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.
2. If you know you owe, or think you may owe tax:
Call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you.
You can find out if you actually owe taxes by checking your account online at https://www.irs.gov/uac/view-your-tax-account .