Friday, March 18, 2016

Alert: Avoid phone scammers this tax season

I'd like to warn you about a series of scams my constituents have reported to my office. Seeking to exploit the tax filing season, scammers are impersonating IRS agents or other government officials to cheat people out of their money or obtain personal information like social security numbers. The scams take various forms, but one of the most common is that a scammer calls people, declares that they have an outstanding tax bill, and demands immediate payment over the phone, often threatening some kind of police or court action if they fail to comply.

If you receive a call like this, hang up immediately and report the scammer to the Treasury Inspector General on this page.

These are ruthless con-artists who are stealing money from anyone they can fool or bully into cooperating with them. If someone calls you claiming to be from the IRS, keep in mind that 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.
Here are links for more information about these scams: