Stay Vigilant Against Bogus IRS Phone Calls and Emails
Common tax scams recently appearing are phone calls and emails from people pretending to be from the IRS. These bogus calls involve thieves using the IRS name, logo or a fake website to try to steal your money. If your personal information is stolen, you may be at risk for identity theft. Here are several tips from the IRS to help you avoid being a victim of these tax scams:
The real IRS will not:
• Initiate contact with you by phone, email, text or social media to ask for your personal or financial information.
• Call you and demand immediate payment. The IRS will not call about taxes you owe without first mailing a bill.
• Require that you pay your taxes a certain way. For example, telling you to pay with a prepaid debit card.
Be wary if you get a phone call from someone who claims to be from the IRS and demands that you pay immediately. Here are some steps you can take to avoid and stop these scams.
If you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you do:
• Contact us here at WellsColeman to verify your tax situation.
• Contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. Use TIGTA’s “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page to report the incident.
• You should also report it 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 you think you may owe taxes:
• Contact WellsColeman. We may be able to help set up a payment plan.
• Ask for a call back number and an employee badge number from the agent who contacts you.
• Call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS employees can help you.
In most cases, an IRS phishing scam is an unsolicited, bogus email that claims to come from the IRS. They often use fake refunds, phony tax bills, or threats of an audit. Some emails link to sham websites that look real. The scammers’ goal is to lure victims to give up their personal and financial information. If they get what they’re after, they use it to steal a victim’s money and their identity.
If you get a ‘phishing’ email, we offer this advice:
• Don’t reply to the message, contact WellsColeman immediately.
• Don’t give out your personal or financial information.
• Forward the email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Then delete it.
• Don’t open any attachments or click on any links. They may have malicious code that will infect your computer.
Please contact us, as well, if you receive any calls or e-mails from a supposed IRS agent, or if you have any other questions.