IRS Phone Scams Still Major Threat to Taxpayers

July 24, 2017

The IRS continues to receive a large number of complaints regarding fake IRS “robocalls”. The scammers frequently call with aggressive statements and threats of police arrest, deportation, loss of driver’s licenses, and numerous other scare tactics. We remind our clients to be vigilant against all sorts of targeted and mass phishing attacks. The U.S Federal Communications Commission recently voted on new rules to protect consumers from robocalls. The process has been described as “exceptionally complicated” by the current FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai. New schemes are being reported with phone numbers that appear to be a local number or a number similar to your own in a process called “spoofing”. These calls are frequently scammers who may use fake IRS titles to appear legitimate. They may also use the victim’s name and personal information to make it sound more official. RDHB would like to alert our clients to the following items which are tell-tale signs of scam IRS calls: The IRS will never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, here’s what you should do: If you don’t owe taxes, or have no reason to think that you do:

  • 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.

If you know you owe, or think you may owe tax:

  • Call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you.

Stay alert to scams that use the IRS as a lure. Tax scams can happen any time of year, not just at tax time. For more, visit “Tax Scams and Consumer Alerts” on IRS.gov. Each and every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS. These are your Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Explore your rights and our obligations to protect them on IRS.gov. RDHB is well respected in Western New York. The firm was named one of Rochester Business Journal’s Top 100 Companies in 2016, and three of its partners have been awarded the “40 Under 40” distinction. All of the firm’s partners are active in giving back to the community, including serving on the boards of several local non-profit organizations. If you have questions on IRS correspondence or would like more information about RDHB’s tax accounting services, contact David Feor at dfeor@rdhbcpa.com.

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