IRS Scam Calls and Emails – What to Know and What to Do
February, March, and April are the busiest times of year not only for accountants but also for IRS scam calls. Tax season heightens the activities of cyber thieves out to steal your money and identity.
While you are busy gathering up all your records, phishing scams are swinging into high gear. The last thing you want is to file your taxes and find out someone else already did by using your name. Identity theft becomes more common during this time of the year.
Tax season always seems to ramp up the IRS scam calls. Cyberthieves have numerous methods of tricking you into providing personal information.
Here are some of the things to look out for:
- A “legitimate” looking email that may show the IRS logo. They may sign off with fake badge numbers and names to trick you into thinking that the email is real.
- Phone calls from IRS representatives. The IRS does not call you directly. If you get a phone message that provides you with an “IRS telephone number,” do not return the call. The legitimate IRS numbers are at the end of this article.
What to Do If You Receive IRS Scam Calls or Emails
If you do receive an email from the “IRS,” do not reply to the email or provide any information. Never contact any phone number they provide. Instead, go directly to IRS.gov to contact a legitimate representative.
If you receive a phone call from someone claiming to work for the IRS, do not believe it. The IRS will not contact you by telephone – these are IRS scam calls. Never give out your social security number or personal banking information over the phone to someone who contacts you. If you receive an IRS scam call asking for this information, hang up and then report phone scams and the number to the IRS.
Automated messages should be your first warning sign that the call is not legitimate. IRS phishing is an unsolicited scam. If you receive an IRS scam call asking for this information, do not return the call by dialing the provided number. Instead, call the IRS contact numbers at 800-829-1040 for individual questions, or 800-829-4933 for your business.
Remember, the IRS will never call you directly and demand immediate payment. The IRS does not request money by email. The IRS always contacts people by mail regarding money owed. If you do receive an unexpected bill or correspondence in the mail, contact the IRS directly to ensure that it is legitimate.
You can report IRS scam calls, as well as unusual or suspect activity directly to the IRS by forwarding any emails you receive to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact me, Randee Abramson, your local CPA with any questions and concerns.