Here we go again: The scam artists are out, using fears of the IRS to get people to reveal their Social Security Numbers and other confidential information online or over the phone.
The telephone scams have become increasingly sophisticated this year, and can include:
• Scammers calling taxpayers and using fake names and IRS badge numbers. Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security Number.
• Scammers “spoof” or imitate the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it’s the IRS calling.
• Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS emails to some victims to support their bogus calls.
• A call may be followed up by a second call from someone saying they’re with the state motor vehicle department or local police.
• Scammers tell taxpayers they owe money to IRS which must be paid through a wire transfer or pre-loaded debit card.
The IRS has put out a “Dirty Dozen” list of tax scams on its website , with more information on these scams.
Let’s review: The Internal Revenue Service will NEVER begin any taxpayer contact with a phone call, and is organizationally allergic to sending emails. IRS operates through the U.S. mail, and any initial contact communication from the Service about anything in your tax file will be by mail. Never, ever, ever give any Social Security, banking, or other information out to someone who you don’t know and who contacts you by telephone or the internet.