IRS Phone Scams: What Are They? Who’s Running Them? What Should You Do If Targeted?

Have you ever received an aggressive phone call from the Internal Revenue Service? You may have been the victim of an IRS phone scam. The IRS has reported a surge of phone scams in 2016, with scammers threatening everything from license revocation to deportation. According to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, these scams have resulted in losses totaling over $5 million. 

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How IRS Phone Scams Work

The typical IRS phone scam involves a threatening call, in which a so-called IRS agent claims that you are delinquent on your taxes. The scammer may try to obtain credit card or bank account information from you, ostensibly so that you can pay back whatever you supposedly owe. The caller may also try to convince you to pay “owed” taxes with a prepaid debit card. A few scammers will claim that the IRS owes you a significant refund, but that your information is needed in order to transfer the money to your account. 

How to Respond to IRS Phone Scam Calls

Awareness is the first step towards justice. Once you recognize the prevalence of IRS phone scams, you can prepare yourself to deal with any foul play. Remember, the IRS never contacts taxpayers over the phone before sending a bill. Don’t be swayed by personal information the caller may possess, such as your address or Social Security number. Scammers spend a lot of time gathering information they can use to gain your trust.

If you receive a threatening phone call from somebody claiming to be an IRS agent, do not engage with the caller — don’t even accuse the individual of being a scammer. Hang up the phone and immediately reach out to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484. Be sure to also report the incident to the Federal Trade Commission. If you are concerned about your taxes, you can sort out these matters by calling 800-829-1040 or by getting in touch with a trusted tax attorney.

Call Our Office

The better you understand your current tax situation, the less likely you’ll be to fall victim to an IRS phone scam. To learn more, call us today at 720-398-6088.