If the “IRS” calls to scare you into paying, do not pay!

Scam-scamToday we had the  5th client call our office extremely worried about a phone call they received! They had received a phone call from a phone number originating from Washington, DC, Pennsylvania, or California, warning them that they had an outstanding tax debt and warrants out for their arrests. In all cases, these have been fraudulent. The scammers are very determined in making you believe they are the IRS, and they are coming to collect. According to the IRS, over $5,000,000 has been lost by victims who had fallen for these types of calls, and we’d hate for one of our clients to be one!

Please remember that the IRS will NEVER call you out of the blue about a tax debt. There will always be official mail correspondence first and foremost. Additionally, the IRS does not ask for credit card information or request a specific payment method; it is your choice how to pay your debt. They will also never ask for immediate payment over the phone. It doesn’t matter how official the caller sounds; they might list a “badge” number to try sounding more official, and they may spoof an actual IRS phone number, and they may even be able to recite the last four digits of your social security number. If they don’t achieve results on the initial call, they may attempt to follow up with an additional phone call from “the DMV” or “the police” backing up the initial phone call’s claim.

If you do get one of these phone calls, please do not panic. You can call the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040 to verify your account is in good standing, or call TIGTA at 1-800-366-4484. You may also file a complaint with the FTC. Further, there are many IRS offices all across the nation; you can stop in there and check on your account status in person. You can find your local office at the IRS website here: Where’s my local IRS office?

It’s important to remember this isn’t the only scam that is out there; if something seems too good or bad to be true, it probably is. If anyone tries to reach out over the phone, it is always best to attempt to verify identity in any way possible– usually the best would be to call them back at a phone  number you have verified independently. Further, the IRS does not communicate with taxpayers by email, text, or other forms of electronic communications.

We are always here to help if you have any questions. If you receive a phone call or other communication you are unsure about, please don’t hesitate to call.