Monday, January 19, 2015

IRS scams: An old movie with new characters

According to the IRS, people are reporting that they received e-mails or calls from IRS agents saying they owed taxes and needed to pay immediately or face hefty consequences including arrest, deportation, or suspension of various licenses.  Others were informed that they had an overdue refund and needed to provide personal information in order to receive it.  Those that simply don’t answer the telephone call are left with an urgent message to call the "agent" back.  At its core, this scam is no different than the emails or calls that request your credit card information or bank account numbers so that you can receive a huge inheritance from that long lost uncle you never met. 

You should know that, according to the IRS website (see link below), an agent will never:

1)  call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill;

2)  demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe;

3)  require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card;

4)  ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone; or

5)  threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

6)  initiate contact via email.

You can visit this page for more information on tax scams and consumer alerts.

Bradley S. Williamson