If someone calls you claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service and demands payment over the phone, they are not from the IRS, and it is a scam.
According to recent Peachtree City Police reports, a resident was contacted by a fraudster claiming to be with the IRS and demanding the resident pay $200 over the phone. The payment was to be in iTunes gift cards.
The resident complied with the fraudster’s demand, then later contacted police saying he thought he had been scammed.
Back in 2014, the IRS issued a press release addressing a national trend of fraudulent phone calls from scammers pretending to work for the IRS. That release said IRS employees will never:
• Call to demand immediate payment, nor will we 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 credit or debit card numbers over the phone; nor
• Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
Furthermore, the IRS release said tax payers will always be notified in writing of any tax issue needing attention.
“These telephone scams are being seen in every part of the country, and we urge people not to be deceived by these threatening phone calls,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in that 2014 release. “We have formal processes in place for people with tax issues. The IRS respects taxpayer rights, and these angry, shake-down calls are not how we do business.”
Anyone wanting to discuss tax issues with the IRS may call the service directly at 1-800-829-1040. If you believe you are being scammed as in the case above, you may contact your local law enforcement agency or call the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484.
In a separate incident, PTC Police also reported that another resident was called by a scammer trying to get her to give them money over the phone so they can help her grandson get out of jail. The woman simply contacted her grandson, who confirmed he was not actually in jail, and then she contacted the police.