This is not a scam by the IRS but one about the IRS. Paying taxes is stressful enough with more than enough complications and headaches than we need. Now, figure in a call saying you owe back taxes. It can be either a robo call or a real person but the message is the same, “You owe taxes and we want the money now. You need to put it on a credit or debit card because we have to have it today or officers will be sent to arrest you.”
First let me assure you that the IRS does not work this way. If there is a problem with your taxes and you do owe them money they will send you an official letter with instructions. Usually they will have you set up an appointment with an IRS representative at a local office. The letter will tell you exactly what you need to bring with you and guess what? You don’t have to go alone. You can bring a lawyer or your accountant.
Back to the phone call. This is a drama to scare you into giving out personal information like credit or debit card numbers, bank account information or any information they can use to steal your money and/or your identity. I do my own taxes and so I know what I owe or don’t owe and what I have paid or will receive. I know when and how it was sent to the IRS.
Things you can do if you receive one of these calls:
- Hang up.
- If you want to be sure it isn’t a scam:
- Ask for their name and official title
- Where is their office located?
- Ask for a phone number where you can reach them.
- Offer to give them the name and number of your attorney (they don’t respond well to this one)
- Tell them you will call them back.
- What I finally did because I got tired of these calls, “Cool, send them out I’ll be waiting with my lawyer.” No one ever showed up and I haven’t received one of these phone calls in a while.
With all scams the rule is PROTECT YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION. Knowing how the IRS works is very important. The more you know about how companies and organizations work with their clients or customers like how they contact you if there is a problem, and how do they collect and update information, the better equipped you will be to deal with them.. Be informed so that you can protect yourself.