Do You Know The Telltale Signs Of A Tax Scam?

We are constantly hearing about security and technology and perhaps are turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to anything we see and/or hear.  But, in these trying times, there are many creative minds at work and not working for the good.  They are coming up with new ways each and every day and we need to be alert. 

Have you or someone you know had a phone call saying that there is tax owed and someone will come and collect what is owed or you need to send an amount via Western Union or the police will come and arrest you?  Let’s be reasonable; do you think that the IRS would do such a thing, even if you don’t have a good opinion of the IRS?  (Just remember, the IRS is only a collection agency, so to speak, for our government and operates under Congress.) 

Phone calls are common from spoofers or fakers who can get your caller ID to show a number from anywhere in the country and can “spook” an IRS office phone number.  Don’t fall for these spoofs or fakes.  If you feel the number is suspicious, let it ring and go to voicemail.  After all, if it is important, a message will be left.  If you do answer the phone and realize it is not the caller you thought it was, hang up immediately.  You should contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration to report the call or report the caller ID and callback number to the IRS by sending it to phishing@irs.gov with the subject line to read “IRS Phone Scam”.

If the IRS is attempting to collect taxes from you, you will be notified in WRITING.  The notification with provide you with contact information on where to send payment or a phone number to call.  You will not be asked to send money via Western Union or any other electronic means.  The writing you receive will be to send a check directly to the IRS at the address provided in the notice.

You will not be contacted via email by the IRS, but should you get a phishing email that has an attachment, DO NOT open the same.  Rather, forward it to phishing@irs.gov with the subject line to read “IRS Phishing Scam”. 

If you know or think that you owe taxes, then go to irs.gov and view your tax account information online.  Or, call the IRS at 800-829-1040 to inquire about your account. 

Be safe.  Don’t be vulnerable. 

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Kay Sowa

About the Author

Kay Sowa is a paralegal in the Trusts and Estates Group at Capehart & Scatchard, P.A. She is an IRS Enrolled Agent, an Accredited Estate Planner®, and a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor. She oversees the trust and estate administration practice for the firm. She is an accomplished author and lecturer who has frequently spoken on behalf of a number of organizations including the National Business Institute and the Institute of Paralegal Education.

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