Seriously, my dad just encountered this and it should not be happening
just wanted to put this out there so nobody gets caught by it
There is an IRS PHONE SCAMgoing around
Basically, someone calls your phone and claims they are from the IRS. They tell you that you owe money because you incorrectly filled out your tax forms. DO NOT BELIEVE THEM. Then they tell you that you need to pay it immediately because it is a time sensitive issue. They threaten you with arrest, suspended drivers license, turning off your utilities, etc. They get extremely hostile and try to scare you into paying them.
There is so much wrong with this that these should be BIG red flags
The IRS does not call you first and immediately threaten arrest. Their first method of contact is mail, like legit snail-mail. They tend to send multiple notices before attempting to contact you another way. Threatening you with arrest is basically a last attempt to get you to pay your taxes and thats after meeting with tax attorneys or tax professionals to admit that you actually did something wrong. Or it is after an audit. They never try to be intimidating or manipulative. Every time I have talked to a member of the IRS, they have been kind and patient, and they attempting to resolve the issue as peacefully as possible.
Some helpful tips to remember if you think you are being scammed:
- NEVER give any pertinent information over the phone. This includes SSN, Birthdate, Credit Card information, etc. If they request you to and it is the actual IRS, you can ask if you can make an appointment to talk to someone in person at the office.
- Ask as many questions as possible that is relevant to the situation. You may think it is unnecessary, but one of those questions may stump the scammer and you may get a better idea of the scam.
- Always ask for a name/ID number for the IRS personnel you are dealing with. They all have them and that way if you call back, you can attempt to talk to the same person or check if they are an actual employee.
- DO NOT GIVE MONEY OVER THE PHONE. This is pretty much a always situation. Like it is almost impossible to know if you are talking to a legit employee or someone faking, so better safe than sorry.
Some hints that it is a scam:
- The person gives you a very generic name that could be faked like John Smith or something
- They claim they do not have an employee ID number. Federal employees get one so usually thats BS if they say they don’t have one. Not always but usually
- They become hostile or angry easily. Employees at any job tend to be working to make the customer happy, hence they attempt to avoid any harsh tones or angry words. If the person becomes irrationally angry or pushy, they are trying too hard to sell you something or get you to cooperate.
- They ask you to pay right then and there. And they do not accept it if you say you will call back or pay at another time. They make it sound like a life or death situation in order to force you into paying. Threats are made.
- They don’t call from a government number. This goes with the Caller ID sort of stuff, but if it does not say IRS, it most likely is not the actual IRS.
Some things to do after the phone call:
- Call the local police; even if you didn’t give in to the scam, it gives them an idea of the frequency of the scam and helps bring about awareness
- Tell everyone you know; Hence why I am writing this now lol If you get the word out, less people will become victims of it.
- Contact the IRS or some sort of government agency to make sure they are aware of the scam. The IRS has a contact number for scams that you can call and report it to.
Basically, keep an eye out. It would really suck if a bunch of people got trapped by this. The guy asked my dad for $1500 and I’m pretty sure thats a hefty amount for a lot of us to pay.
So pass this around and make sure to get the word out about the IRS Phone Scam