The IRS is urging taxpayers to remain alert to tax scams year round, but especially immediately following the tax deadline.
The Internal Revenue Service is warning taxpayers that criminals are now using a new twist on an old phone scam where criminals use telephone numbers that appear to be IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center (TACs) numbers to trick taxpayers into paying fictitious tax bills.
In this newest phone scam, criminals call claiming to be from a local IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center. The scammers have programmed their computers to display the TAC telephone number, which will appear on the taxpayer’s Caller ID. When the taxpayer questions the legitimacy of the call, the scammers direct the taxpayer to the IRS.gov website to verify the phone number. The scammers then hang up, wait a few minutes, and call back a second time again with the IRS TAC phone number. After the taxpayer has “verified” the call number, the fraudsters demand money, typically via debit card.
The scammers have also been using local sheriff’s offices and other federal agencies to try to convince taxpayers that the call is legitimate.
Taxpayers should keep in mind that the IRS and their Taxpayer Assistance Centers do not make phone calls to taxpayers to demand payments. The IRS always initiates contact first through regular mail via the USPS.
Taxpayers should also keep in mind that the IRS does not:
- Demand that you use a specific payment method (prepaid debit card, gift card, or wire transfer)
- Ask for your debit card numbers over the phone
- Demand that you pay taxes without the opportunity to question the amount owed
- Threaten to bring police, immigration officers, or other law enforcement to have you arrested
- Revoke your driver’s license, business license, or immigration status
If you receive a call or any IRS impersonation scam you should report it to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and email the IRS with the subject line “IRS Phone Scam”
If you have questions as it relates to this or any other tax-scam, please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our experts.