IRS Phone SCAMS and how to protect yourself
Even though it is a trick as old as time itself, thousands are still falling victim to the good old-fashioned IRS phone scam. These scam calls usually happen around tax season immediately the tax filing deadline is around the corner.
Anybody can get such scams calls, and the ones who often fall prey are those who have not learnt how to protect themselves against these scammers.
But first, what are IRS phone scams?
An IRS phone scam is when an American taxpayer receives a disturbing official-sounding call by someone or several people pretending to the Internal Revenue Service collection officers. These calls are often intimidating in nature, threatening arrests and freezing of assets for one tax misconduct or the other. They often end with the victim being asked to pay thousands of dollars immediately to avoid arrest and/or the freezing of his/her assets. Payment is often required in the form of wire transfer, credit card transfer, MoneyGram or gift cards.
In 2016 alone, more 1 million of these calls were received and about 29 million dollars was lost to this kind of scam. Scammers also sometimes file a fake tax return with victims’ stolen personal information, and then use the victim’s bank account information to have the refund deposited into his/her account. After this is done, they call the victim, posing as the IRS or debt collectors, and demanding the return of the fraudulent tax refund. In this case, they often threaten criminal fraud charges, and an arrest warrant, and the victim has to make some payment to them to avoid these.
Some numbers already associated with IRS phone scams
There are so many numbers that have already being linked to IRS phone scams. While this list below is by no means an exhaustive list, here are some of those IRS phone scam-associated numbers:
Whatever the case might be, never return a phone call from someone claiming to be with the IRS. Call the IRS directly on 800-829-1040 if you are an individual, and 800-829-4933 if you are a business.
Taking the offense
You too can go on the offensive and expose these phone scammers by using our reverse phone lookup service. This allows you to search phone numbers, whether they are cell or landline phone numbers to uncover the owner’s name, as well as details such as where the number is from and other owner details. This makes it very easy to confirm if you are indeed called by IRS officials or by scammers.