Hopefully, this is old news to most of you. On March 20, 2014, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) warned taxpayers about a phone scam. Criminals are calling taxpayers and pretending to be IRS representatives. The criminals tell their victims they owe IRS taxes and must pay immediately by pre-paid debit card or wire transfer. The criminals go on to threaten arrest, deportation or loss of a business or driver’s license.
The IRS typically contacts taxpayers first by mail. In the rare cases IRS makes first contact via phone, they will not demand payment via debit card, credit card or wire transfer. If you get a call like this, TIGTA recommends:
- If you owe taxes or think you may owe, then hang up and call IRS at 800-829-1040 to discuss your tax account.
- If you are sure you do not owe, hang up and then report the incident to TIGTA at 800-366-4484.
There are variations on this scam run by email. IRS does not ask for personal information or payment information by means of email. The IRS has a page discussing phishing scams.