Even if we are cautious about protecting our personal information, we might still receive IRS imposter scams. When we receive any calls and emails that claim themselves as IRS, there are several things we can do to protect ourselves from an IRS imposter scam.
- What you need to do when you receive an IRS imposter scam is:
- You need to understand that IRS will always contact you by mail before calling you about unpaid taxes. When you receive someone calls claiming to be from the IRS, you need to first check your mailbox and see if you miss any mails from the IRS. Once you make sure that you never pay less for your taxes and nor do you receive any mails from the IRS, it’s obvious that you receive an IRS imposter scam.
- You can ask the caller to provide their name, badge number, and callback number, then calling TIGTA at 1-800-366-4484 to find out if the caller is an IRS employee with a legitimate reason to contact you. If you confirm that the caller is from IRS, you can call them back. Otherwise, this call is a scam and you can report it to TIGTA.
- You could become familiar with what fraudulent IRS email messages look like. For example, reviewing a sample IRS phishing email might help. Also, searching a standard sample of letter, form or notice on the IRS website would help you build a basic idea about what a real message should be like.
- You should be suspicious of threats as well, since the IRS won’t threaten to have police arrest you for not paying a bill.
- When you receive a scam, you should not:
- You don’t have to give in to demands to pay money immediately. Instead, you need to be especially suspicious of demands to wire money or pay with a prepaid debit card.
- You should not trust the name or phone number on a caller ID display that shows “IRS,” since scammers often change the name that shows on caller ID using a technique called spoofing.
- Never click on any links in email or text messages to verify your information, because these kind of link might not only leak your information but also contain certain virus that contaminates your device.