Our friends at Rea and Associates recently featured an article in their newsletter that sparked a lot of internal conversations here. One of our senior folks had received one of these phone calls (as had some of our clients). Rea and Associates kindly allowed us to share this with you as well.
Here is what Lance Jacob, EA has to say about his experience with one of these scam calls:
The callers had
foreign accents (not that there is anything wrong with that)
They made it
seem like they are working with a supervisor and will transfer your call when
you start asking questions (the only mistake was that he transferred my call
and I could tell it was the same person I had just spoken to).
The area code was
202 making you think they were calling from IRS headquarters in DC
Ask them for their
badge number and a callback number because you want to speak with the IRS
Taxpayer Advocate and call them back. They will probably hang up.
Be On Guard For IRS Phone Scams
Maribeth Wright | July 17th, 2014
The 4-1-1 On These IRS Phone Scams
- Some taxpayers who received these calls were told they’re entitled to a big tax refund, or that they owe a lot of money to the IRS that needs to be paid immediately. Don’t be fooled. The IRS won’t contact you via phone about these matters. If you ever owe the IRS money, you’ll be sent a written notification via mail.
- The IRS will never ask you for personal financial information over the phone, such as your credit or debit card information. If you’re asked for this information from someone claiming they’re from the IRS, don’t give it and report the incident immediately to the IRS.
- Some IRS scammers use fake names/surnames (most of the time these names are common) and IRS badge numbers when they identify themselves.
- It’s possible that a scammer knows and can tell you the last four digits of your Social Security number.
- The phone number that a scammer calls you from could look like it’s from the IRS toll-free number.
- If you take one of these scam calls, you may receive a bogus follow-up email to make it look like it is a legitimate inquiry from the IRS.
- You may be threatened with jail time or driver’s license suspension from one of these scammers. They may then hang up on you and then call back pretending to be the police or DMV, further trying to prove their claim to you.
What Should You Do If You Get One Of These Calls?
- If you think you might owe taxes or there may be an issue with your taxes, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. Someone at the line can help you determine if you indeed have a payment due.
- If you feel you received this call unexpectedly and know you have no IRS issues, call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1.800.366.4484.