The IRS is NOT going to call you saying that you owe back taxes. They do not operate this way. Phony “agents” will call and threaten with jail time, heavy fines, freezing bank accounts, and all manner of scary stuff. The caller might be very insistent that you head to a certain website and transfer large amounts of money from your bank to the IRS. DO NOT DO THIS!
Get as much information from the caller without giving away any of yours, especially not your Social Security number or bank information. Tell them you will call them back. Hang up and then call the police. It may be difficult to trace these scammers because many of them call from overseas using relayed calls and showing fake caller ID.
Here’s what to do if you receive a suspicious “IRS” call:
Don’t recognize the Area Code? Let the call go to voice mail. If they don’t leave a message, let it go. If it continues to call back, do a research number search on the Internet. 800 and 900 series numbers are usually red flags.
Assume it’s a scam if you actually talk to someone threatening you. The IRS will send you a snail mail notice. They do not call and they don’t send emails. You can always call the IRS at 800-829-1040 to verify if you owe back taxes.
Hang up the phone. The best solution.
Report the call to your local police department, or the US Treasury Inspector General at 800-366-4484. Or if you do get an email, forward the email directly to the IRS at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Talk about what has happened, especially if you have vulnerable family members.
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