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NEW TWISTS FROM PHONE SCAMMERS

April 26, 2018

NEW TWISTS FROM PHONE SCAMMERS

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently warned of a new twist on an old phone scam. Criminals will use telephone numbers that mimic IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) in order to trick taxpayers into paying non-existent tax bills.

In the latest variation of this scam, criminals claim to be calling from a local IRS TAC office and program their computers to display the TAC phone number, which appears on the taxpayer's Caller ID when they receive the call. 

If the taxpayer questions their demands for payment, the scammer will direct them to IRS.gov and tell them to look up their local TAC's office telephone number shortly before hanging up. After a short time the crook will call back and demand payment once the taxpayer has "verified" their phone number.

Some things to note are that the IRS at TAC offices do not make calls to taxpayers demanding payment on overdue bills. The IRS also typically initiates most contact through regular mail delivered by the United States Postal Service first. 

There are also limited circumstances in which the IRS will call or come to a home or business, but even in these special situations taxpayers will generally receive several notices from the IRS in the mail first.

The IRS also will not:

  • Demand that you use a specific payment method or ask for your debit or credit card numbers over the phone. 
  • Demand that you pay taxes without the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe. 
  • Threaten to bring in local police, immigration officers or other law enforcement to have you arrested for not paying. The IRS also cannot revoke your driver's license, business licenses, or immigration status. 

If you receive a call similar to what has been described above, the IRS suggests that you report it by sending an email to phishing@irs.gov with the subject line "IRS Phone Scam."

If you have any questions, contact your local UHY LLP professional.

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