Phone scammers are now trying new tactics in order to appear more legitimate. Many scammers are now using computers to generate a phone number that appears to be linked to the IRS. Anyone who questions whether the call is legitimate will be guided by them to the IRS.gov website where they are told to look up the number they called from in order to verify that they are calling from the IRS.
Be careful, though. The calls may appear to be coming from an IRS phone number, but they are not. The IRS warns people to keep in mind the following information:
- Demand that you use a specific payment method, such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. The IRS will not ask for your debit or credit card numbers over the phone. If you owe taxes, make payments to the United States Treasury or review IRS.gov/payments for IRS online options.
- Demand that you pay taxes without the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe. Generally, the IRS will first mail you a bill if you owe any taxes. You should also be advised of your rights as a taxpayer.
- 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. Threats like these are common tactics scam artists use to trick victims into buying into their schemes.
"IRS, Security Summit Partners warn of new twist on phone scam; crooks direct taxpayers to IRS.gov to "verify" calls." IRS Newswire. April 24, 2018. Retrieved from: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-security-summit-partners-warn-of-new-twist-on-phone-scam-crooks-direct-taxpayers-to-irsgov-to-verify-calls.