IRS Phone Scam, what not to do, ever

 

Spot - a - scam

There are many highly aggressive scammers who are getting better every day and can be highly convincing (they might even know the last 4 of your social or your address) especially for people who do not like conflict.  

Scammers will email you or call you using a badge number and title.  If they miss you they will probably leave a message; if you call them back then they will try and bully you all they way to the nearest place to make an irrevocable payment.

The IRS almost always does business through the mail (USPS).  

The likelihood that you will ever get an unexpected call or voicemail from a real tax-related government agent (especially on a Saturday or Sunday) is practically nil.  

Additionally, there is never going to be a legitimate IRS collection situation for which you have not received multiple mail notices about (proposed changes to your tax return, assessment of additional tax, demand for payment, intent to levy, etc.).  Furthermore, there will never be a unexpected correspondence from an IRS agent that will result in you being arrested or requiring you to do anything with cash that same day.

How "they" might lie to you:

1.  We have issued an arrest warrant with the sheriff's office or local authorities in one hour.   

2.  Do not interrupt me while I read you this affidavit; you can ask me questions at the end.

3.  If you don't pay this today there will be additional penalties, seizure of bank accounts, arrests made, etc.  Do not hang up or the resolution process will be over.

4.  You are a liar, you are going to jail, your credit score would be penalized, there is a judgement in your name, there are local authorities coming to house, you ignored a certified letter from IRS, your accounts will be frozen, your drivers licence will be suspended, there is a federal investigation against your spouses social security number. 

What not to do, ever

1.  Never pay any immediately/today for any Federal or State Government official for any amount based on a phone call or email that you did not see coming from several mailed notices.

2. Never pay a tax bill (even a real one) that you do not understand or agree with.  Always contact a tax professional before paying additional assessments or agreeing to any changes to your tax return.  It is always harder to get your money back.

3.  Never pay anybody you don't already know with any kind of money order, pre-paid card from CVS, 7-Eleven, or Walgreens, Western Union, or Supermarket payment system.   

4.  Do not buy any "government-issued bonds" at a local retailer.   

5.  Do not divulge any personal information or answer any questions about previous legal matters that might give them more ways to scam you.

Here is what you can do to help:

1. Go to this FTC Consumer Protection webpage and comment on what they said and post the phone number you were called from.   This should get their latest tricks on the web, fast.

If you want to report it. Here’s how: