Spotting a Scam: Phony IRS Phone Calls
This week I received several phone calls from an unknown number. As soon as I answered, an automated message informed me, in broken English, that I owe additional taxes and that a warrant was out for my arrest. Fortunately, I am highly skeptical of any phone calls from an unknown number and, after a quick google search, was reassured that the calls were indeed a part of a scam. If you find yourself in a similar situation, here are a few things to keep in mind.
If there was a problem with your tax-filings, the IRS will mail you a letter. They won’t call you and they certainly won’t ask you to pay the bill over the phone.
If you don’t owe taxes, then there’s no reason to suspect that you’re in trouble and if you made a mistake on your taxes, the IRS’ first course of action is to let you know. It is not, however, to arrest you.
Whether it’s a call from the IRS or elsewhere, you should be very wary of giving out any personal information over the phone, especially information such as a credit card number or bank account number.
If you’ve found yourself on the receiving end of this scam or others like it, you can alert the Federal Trade Commission by clicking here. If you’d like to learn more about this particular scam, you can read about it on the IRS’ webpage here.