Hang up. Or better yet, don’t answer the phone if you don’t recognize the number. Then report the call. We guarantee you it’s not the IRS on the other end of the line.
If you’re like most people these days, you or someone you know has received a call claiming to be from the IRS. Often the caller says there is a warrant out for your arrest and you need to pay back taxes and fines right away to avoid legal action. The script is designed to frighten and intimidate people into giving up sensitive personal information, and sadly, it often works.
Scammers are everywhere, and they continue to become more savvy and creative. The bottom line is that as long as these calls continue to work, the criminals are not going to stop. That is why we want to do our part to help put them out of business. Learning how to spot the signs of a fraudulent call is the key to avoid being scammed, so the IRS has provided the guidelines below.
Remember, the IRS will never:
- Call to demand immediate payment, nor call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
- Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
- Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
- Ask for your credit or debit card number over the phone.
- Threaten to bring in local law enforcement to have you arrested.