Scammers pretending to be from the IRS continue to target taxpayers. These scams take many different forms. Among the most common are phone calls. Thieves use the IRS name to try and steal money from taxpayers. Identity theft can also happen with such scams.
Taxpayers need to be cautious of phone calls or automated messages from scammers who claim to be from the IRS. These criminals often say the taxpayer owes money. They also demand immediate payment. Scammers also lie to taxpayers and say they are due a refund. They do this to lure their victims into giving their bank account information over the phone. The IRS warns taxpayers not to fall for these scams.
Below are tips that will help avoid becoming a victim during the summer months and throughout the year:
The IRS will NOT:
- Call to demand immediate payment using specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS first mails a bill to taxpayers who owe taxes. If the IRS assigns a case to a Private Debt Collector (PCA), both the IRS and the authorized collection agency send a letter to the taxpayer. Payment is always to the United States Treasury.
- Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying.
- Demand payment of taxes without giving the taxpayer the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
If a taxpayer does not owe any tax, they should:
- Contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. Use TIGTA’s “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page to report the incident.
- Report the incident to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your report.
If a taxpayer is not sure whether they owe any tax, they can view their tax account information on IRS.gov to find out.
For help with any income tax question call one of our offices:
Plymouth 734.454.4100, Allen Park 313.388.7180,
Grayling 989.348.4055, Livonia 734-462-6161,
Royal Oak 248.399.7331, or St. Clair Shores 313.371.6600