Ever got a phone call from a random number claiming to be an IRS agent trying to intimidate you into paying some huge sum of money? We all have, and hopefully none of you have fallen for it because this is a tactic used by con artists who try to impersonate the IRS and steal your money. According to the Better Business Bureau, scammers will use this phone tactic, or send intimidating emails to try to steal from you as well. Honestly, no one has time to get scammed by the fake IRS this year, we have enough going on! So, lets go over some rules on how to know whether the person reaching out to you is actually the IRS.
Rule 1. Check your mailbox!
- In virtually every case, the IRS will contact you through standard mail if they need to get in touch with you. This letter will contain information regarding future correspondence from them and the easiest way for you to reach them.
- If you get a letter from the IRS that is unexpected or suspicious, it should have a form or notice number searchable on the IRS website, www.irs.gov. If something doesn’t look right, you can call the IRS help desk at 1-800-829-1040 to question it.
Rule 2. An email from the IRS=FAKE!
- The IRS will never send correspondence via email.
- These scammer will use graphics and logos that look legitimate and either threaten you with fines and jail time for refusing to pay, or a special opportunity to gain additional refund money if you “pre-pay” your taxes.
- Beware of clicking any links included in these emails as they will often take you to a website that will imitate that of the IRS and can install viruses onto your devices.
- Don’t respond to any email communications supposedly from the IRS. Don’t click on any links. Delete the email or forward it to email@example.com to help catch the scammers.
Rule 3. Phone call etiquette!
- After the initial letter sent by mail, the IRS may call you, via phone call, to discuss any delinquent taxes or an audit.
- A real IRS agent will never immediately demand payment without giving you a chance to appeal the bill or ask questions. Their tone will be professional and polite, never insulting or hostile.
- When a real IRS agent asks you to make a payment, they will only ever be asking you to make this payment to the United States Treasury.
- If you get a call from the IRS or an IRS debt collector, politely ask for the employee’s name, badge number and phone number. They shouldn’t hesitate to provide this information. You should then end the call and dial the IRS at 1-800-366-4484 to confirm the person’s identity.
Rule 4. Ask for their credentials!
- Every IRS agent should be able to provide you with two forms of credentials: a pocket commission card and a personal identity verification card issued by the Department of Homeland Security, also called an HSPD-12.
- Never provide sensitive information nor confirm information they may have without first independently verifying they are legitimate representatives of the IRS. If you have concerns you can call the IRS at 1-800-366-4484 to confirm the person’s identity.
Don’t go through this tax season alone! Let us help you with all your tax related concerns from scammers, to what is due when, contact us today at 407.644.5811 or by clicking here!