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Saturday, August 30, 2014

IRS warns of telephone scams pretending to be tax authorities

WASHINGTON – Scammers are calling people and pretending to be the Internal Revenue Service as a way to get financial information, the IRS has cautioned.

The IRS says callers may demand money or say you have a refund due, and try to trick you into sharing private information. ...

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WASHINGTON – Scammers are calling people and pretending to be the Internal Revenue Service as a way to get financial information, the IRS has cautioned.

The IRS says callers may demand money or say you have a refund due, and try to trick you into sharing private information.

“These con artists can sound convincing when they call,” the IRS said in a press release. “They may know a lot about you, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling. They use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers.

“If you don’t answer, they often leave an urgent callback request.”

“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. “We have formal processes in place for people with tax issues.

“The IRS respects taxpayer rights, and these angry, shakedown calls are not how we do business.”

The IRS listed five things scammers often do that the IRS will not. Any one of them is a sign of a scam.

The IRS will never:

Call you about taxes you owe without first mailing you an official notice.

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.

Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

If you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, either call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 or report the incident to the treasury inspector general for tax administration at 1-800-366-4484 or www.tigta.gov.

For more information about reporting tax scams, visit www.irs.gov and type “scam” in the search box.