Phone Scams Still High on the Tax Scam List

While the majority of taxpayers have already filed their 2017 tax return, there are still millions who haven’t quite got around to completing this task. Whether you’ve filed or not, you need to be aware of the possible scams that are still going on this tax season.

Every year the IRS warns taxpayers about these scams but every year thousands of people fall prey to scammers. Although scammers use all kinds of methods to con people out of their money, phone scams continue to be common each year. It’s no different for the 2018 tax-filing season.

In fact phone scams still top the IRS’s “Dirty Dozen” list of scams. If you’re not familiar with this scam here’s generally how it works. You receive a phone call from someone who identifies his or herself as an IRS representative.

The caller then claims that you owe the IRS money and they are trying to collect it.  The caller informs the taxpayer that they must pay this tax debt off immediately via

wire transfer or with a pre-loaded debit card. If they refuse to pay the caller threatens them with severe punishment, such as prison time, losing their license or in some cases, deportation.

This is just one variation, but they all have one thing in common. The person demands money for unpaid tax debt.

The IRS will never call and demand money. The agency will always send a letter in the mail to inform taxpayers of any issue. They will never ask for you to make payments over the phone or even ask for debit or credit card numbers.  And they won’t threaten to arrest you or with other punishment.

If you get one of these calls, don’t argue with them. Just hang up.  You can also report the scammer to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) by calling 1.800.366.4484. Or, you can use the “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” form on their website.