The ability for unscupulous people to defraud you gets easier and is a frustrating fact of modern life. These con-artist have evolved to take advantage of new technology and improved methods of information mining. They also rely on the speed at which things change, which confuses the average person. This means, you must also evolve. Luckily, evolving can be as easy as adding a little knowledge.
At James E. Raftery, we often get panicked calls from people who think they are about to go to jail because of a threat that came from someone who said they were from the IRS. It's a scam and the scam works often enough for the scammers to risk it. We want you to know what to expect, and what you can do.
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 bank information, 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.
Contact you by email, text or social media involving your tax-related issue.
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, here’s what you should do
If you know you owe taxes or think you might owe, call the firm or the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. The IRS workers can help you with a payment issue.
If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to believe that you do, report the incident to the TIGTA at 1-800-366-4484 or at www.tigta.gov.
If you’ve been targeted by this scam, also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at FTC.gov. Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments of your complaint.
If you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS but you suspect they are not an IRS employee.
Record the employee's name, badge number, call back number and caller ID if available.
Call 1-800-366-4484 to determine if the caller is an IRS employee with a legitimate need to contact you.
One of the ways these scammers got to you in the first place is by subtle means of information mining, called "phishing". Usually this is done through a bogus link in an email or a website. Remember, the IRS WILL NOT SEND EMAILS about your tax related matter! As official as an email or website may look, always make sure you know exactly what web site you are on.
How easy is it to make a mistake? Try this. Go to Google and search for IRS.GOV and see how many results are not the IRS. Protect yourself and always call us first to verify any claim made over the phone or by mail.