BBB® serving Evansville and the Tri-State has received a noticeable increase in calls from consumers who have been contacted by someone alleging to be from the IRS. According to information provided by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), since 2013 they report receiving over 896,000 contacts from consumers regarding these IRS calls.
During the tax season, these scammers are telling their prospective victims that they have their tax returns, but in order to finalize the processing of refunds, they need some personal information such as Social Security numbers, banking and credit card numbers. In another version, the scammers tell prospective victims that there were problems with their tax returns and they owe more taxes. They may even threaten possible arrest if they don’t receive immediate payment.
The IRS provides the following signs that you’re dealing with scammers:
*They call to demand immediate payment over the phone, but the IRS will not call about taxes owed without first having mailed you several bills.
*They call or email you to verify your identity by asking for personal and financial information.
*They demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
*They require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
*They ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone or email.
*They threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
If you receive such a phone call, your BBB and the IRS suggest the following:
*Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
*Contact TIGTA to report the call by visiting tigta.gov. 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, or call 877-382-4357.
*If you know you owe, or think you may owe tax, call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you.