Even though it’s not your typical tax season you might have received a call or know someone that has received a call from the “IRS” saying you owe back taxes or you’ve been audited and owe money. This is a newer tactic based on older scams of the same kind; they are merely deviating from the script – but it is becoming more and more frequent. These scammers will ask you for your bank information to settle your tax debt for a certain amount. (Usually it’s not so large to raise suspicion.) Since November, it has been reported that over 25,000 people have been swindled out of their money out of fear of IRS levies and penalties. There are ways to combat these scammers and they require a level of vigilance on our end.
Don’t answer the phone from unknown numbers
A great way to combat this scam is by not answering the phone from an unknown number. If it’s really important, they’ll leave a message. There will be times when these scammers will be brazen enough to leave a callback number. If they do, cross reference that number to the numbers published on the IRS site at http://www.irs.gov. If they do not match, do not call their number back.
Report any phone number and any conversation you’ve had
Call your local law enforcement to let them know of the issue, you may be helping other innocent victims by ensuring others are aware of the scams. Then go to irs.gov and report the activity so they can build reports and cases in an effort to combat the scam at their level. Scammers can typically only go so far with their strategies, but the more the scammers can be exposed, the more pressure they receive to stop.
This is a serious scam that can be combated rather quickly and easily. Don’t fall into their scams and take care to be vigilant in who you talk to on the phone. The more we fight them on our end, the more likely these scammers will stop.