Even if we carefully protect our personal information, we might still face risks of IRS(Internal Revenue Service) imposter scams. Facing calls and emails claiming that they are from the IRS, there are several things we can do to spot an IRS imposter scam and protect our properties. The tips are as follows.
- What we need to do when facing a possible IRS imposter scam:
- The IRS tends to contact us by mail before calling us about owed taxes. Therefore, when we receive a call claiming to be from the IRS, we need to first check our mailbox to see if we’ve missed any mail from the IRS. Once we make sure that we have neither unpaid taxes nor any mail from the IRS, it’s obvious that it is an IRS imposter scam.
- We can ask the caller to tell us their name, badge number, and callback number. Then we can call TIGTA (U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration) at 1-800-366-4484 to confirm whether they really work for the IRS and call us with a legitimate reason. If they are from the IRS, we could call them back. If not, we can report it to the TIGTA.
- We could learn about what fraudulent IRS email messages are 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 us acquire some knowledge about that.
- Threats are always suspicious, since the real IRS won’t threaten to arrest us for not paying taxes.
- Facing a scam, we should never:
- Never follow their orders to pay money immediately. Instead, we need to be suspicious of any demand that asks for money.
- Never believe in the “IRS” shown on a caller ID display because it is easy for scammers to change their name by a technique called spoofing.
- Never click on any links to verify your information. Because these kind of link might not only leak your information but also contain viruses that infect your device.