The IRS does NOT contact taxpayers by phone call out of the blue or via email, but through official correspondence sent through the U.S. mail. Be aware that whenever you get an angry or threatening call from people who say they are from the IRS and urging immediate payment it is a SCAM. Similarly, if you receive a phone call from the IRS advising that you are owed a huge refund and the caller needs your bank account information it is a SCAM. That is not how the IRS operates. Hang up immediately and contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) or the IRS.
It is essential that taxpayers know that the IRS WILL:
Potential phone or email scam victims may be told that they owe money that must be paid immediately to the IRS or they are entitled to huge refunds. Other characteristics of these scams include:
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here’s what you should do:
Phishing scams via email are unsolicited, bogus emails that claim to come from the IRS. These will often use fake refunds, phony tax assessments or tax bills, or threaten an audit. Some of these emails will even link to a sham website that looks real. The scammers goal is to lure victims to give up their personal and financial information. If they get what they are after, they use it to steal a victim’s money and their identity.
If you get a phishing email from someone claiming to be from the IRS, please do the following:
Everyone MUST be vigilant against phone and email scams that use the IRS as a lure. The IRS does NOT initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media. Also, the IRS does not ask for PINs, passwords or similar confidential access information for credit card, bank or other financial accounts. Recipients should not open any attachments or click on any links contained in the message. Instead, forward the email to email@example.com.
I get calls every week from taxpayers wondering whether a call from the IRS is real or not or an email telling them they have won the lottery or received an inheritance from someone they’ve never heard of. Please remember the old saying, “if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is not true.” Similarly, if the IRS is calling you and you have not initiated the call, it’s a scam. Having said that, if you have a real tax issue that needs to be addressed by a tax professional, I am here to help. Please call me (Rex Halverson) at 916-444-0015.