Did you get a phone call last year from someone telling you they were from the IRS and there was a warrant out for your arrest?
I did. It was one of the more aggressive scams I’ve come across, and rather convincing, with the caller giving me a name, an IRS badge number, and a phone number to call back to arrange for payment. Criminals have developed increasingly sophisticated schemes for convincing people that the IRS–or the police department–is out to get them.
Let’s clarify, right here at the start of tax season:
–The Internal Revenue Service does NOT initiate contact with taxpayers or request information by email, text messages or social media sites.
–The IRS does not call to demand payments, and does not call about taxes at all, without first communicating with you through the U.S. Postal Service.
–The IRS never tells you it is giving your name to local police or other law-enforcement agencies.
Alas, I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about these scams before the end of tax season. In the meantime, here’s a column by Kelly Phillips Erb in Forbes , about some of the scams people encountered last year, and information from the IRS on how to smell a scam.