One tax scam involves an alleged IRS agent calling up people on the phone and telling them they have a serious tax matter that needs immediate attention, usually back taxes that are owed. The person claiming to be an IRS agent will often time use intimidating tactics telling the person that they could face possible jail or prison time if they don’t act immediately.
The main targets are usually immigrants from Eastern Europe and Latin countries where in addition to deportation and jail time there are often time threats against their family members if they don’t provide personal information and money. Unfortunately, they fall prey to these tactics as this is common practice in their home country.
The scammers are now getting bolder contacting average US citizens by telephone using technology where a real phone number shows up on the caller ID. If no one is home, they will leave a message saying they need to contact them immediately. The scammer will also leave a first and last name saying they are an IRS agent.
Recently well known radio talk show host, Tom Sullivan received one of these voicemails. He researched the phone number on the caller ID number and found it to be a legitimate contact phone number for the IRS.
On his radio show, he called the phone number and asked for the name of the person he was supposed to contact. The individual on the other end verified that this was an actual phone number for the IRS and that there was no agent there by that name. He said that this is a scam going around and that he receives over 1,000 calls a day as a result.
REMEMBER: The IRS doesn't initiate contact with taxpayers by telephone, e-mail, text message or social media channels to request personal or financial information. They will generally send out a letter if they need you to contact them.