Last week one of my clients told me she’d gotten a call from the IRS telling her she was about to be sued if she didn’t send them a payment right away by wire or debit card.
Someone was trying to scam her, and she is not alone. The IRS says scammers bilk people out of literally millions of dollars annually.
The bad guys are more sophisticated than ever. My client said the number that came up on her cellphone had a local area code, which was the only reason she answered it.
Scammers have gotten so good that even people like journalist Lisa Bennett, who detailed her experience here, can get lured in.
As The New York Times reports, people are also being told they have to send in a payment for not having health insurance.
- The IRS will not initiate contact with you by phone. It will not contact you by email. It will not contact you by text message.
- The IRS will not tell you that it needs you you make a payment by prepaid debit card.
- The IRS will not ask for credit card information over the phone or in an email.
- The IRS will not threaten to have local police arrest you.
- The IRS will not contact you through social media.
Finally, here’s some additional information directly from the IRS on some common characteristics of phone scams.