Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Deputies have recently received several complaints in connection with persons pretending to be with the IRS. Here’s a recent press release issued by the IRS:
Aggressive and threatening phone calls by criminals impersonating IRS agents remain a major threat to taxpayers, headlining the annual “Dirty Dozen” list of tax scams for the 2016 filing season.
The IRS has seen a surge of these phone scams as scam artists threaten police arrest, deportation, license revocation and other things. The IRS reminds taxpayers to guard against all sorts of con games that arise during any filing season.
The Dirty Dozen is compiled annually by the IRS and lists a variety of common scams taxpayers may encounter any time during the year. Many of these con games peak during filing season as people prepare their tax returns or hire someone to do so.
This January, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) announced they have received reports of roughly 896,000 contacts since October 2013 and have become aware of over 5,000 victims who have collectively paid over $26.5 million as a result of the scam.
Here are five things the scammers often do but the IRS will not do. Any one of these five things is a tell-tale sign of a scam.
The IRS will never:
•Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
•Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
•Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
•Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
•Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, here’s what you should do:
If you don’t owe taxes, or have no reason to think that you do:
•Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
•Contact TIGTA to report the call. Use their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page. You can also call 800-366-4484.
•Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.
If you know you owe, or think you may owe tax:
•Call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you.
Stay alert to scams that use the IRS as a lure. Tax scams can happen any time of year, not just at tax time. For more, visit “Tax Scams and Consumer Alerts” on IRS.gov.