It should come as no surprise that we are entering a season that yields concern for a variety of security risks: tax season. Tax season comes quickly and is one we can count on to greet us as we enter into a new year. It is quite the family favorite, right? In 2017, over 3,000 federal tax criminal investigations were initiated.
What these scams look like
Phone fraud | Many hackers and scammers will mimic IRS officials while making unsolicited phone calls. They may demand you pay a certain amount of money followed by a threatening consequence if you don’t – acting like a bully in an attempt to try to get your money.
How to contact the IRS
Contact your local IRS office online, by phone or by visiting in person.
How the IRS will contact you
The first form of contact will be by letter, delivered directly from the U.S. postal service. Following the first contact, there may be a phone call or visit initiated. Remember: You are always allowed and encouraged to ask for credentials!
The IRS will never do the following
- Contact you via phone demanding immediate payment
- Contact you via phone to discuss taxes owed without first mailing you a bill
- Request debit or credit card numbers over the phone
- Threaten to arrest or deport you for not paying the amount you owe
- Demand payment without giving you proper time and opportunity to appeal or question the amount
- Require you to use a specific form of payment to pay the demanded amount
As you prepare to finalize any tax documents for the season, remind your friends and family to stay alert in order to avoid falling for one of many IRS scams that may come your way. Take extra measures to protect yourself from identity theft and save yourself from a few (or more) headaches.
Do you have any advice on this topic? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!