Tax scam artists change tactics

Tax scams remain a continual threat, and the IRS warned consumers this week to be vigilant of new criminal tactics attempting to obtain personal information.

Scammers impersonating IRS agents are making aggressive and threatening phone calls claiming to verify tax information over the phone. The IRS reports that the latest variation of the phone scams have been seen in the past few weeks.

The scam artists call saying they have an individual’s tax return and need to verify a few details to process the return. The scam tries to get individuals to disclose personal information such as a Social Security number or personal financial information such as bank numbers or credit cards.

The IRS reminded consumers that the agency will not call unexpectedly asking for verification of personal information or threatening to make an immediate payment. Many phone scams may threaten to arrest, deport or revoke the license of their victim.

As a reminder, the IRS will never do the following:

  • Call to demand immediate payment over the phone, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you several bills.
  • Call or email you to verify your identity by asking for personal and financial information.
  • 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 or email.
  • Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

To report a suspicious call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, call (800) 366-4484 or use this web page: “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting.” Additionally, report it to the Federal Trade Commission here.