Tax Insights

Your Guide to State, Local, Federal, Estate + International Taxation

New tactic in IRS phone scams to defraud you

phone, scam, IRS, tax, fraudEveryday scammers are hard at work trying come up with new ways to use technology against you in their never-ending efforts to fraudulently take your money. Their latest tactic is to use equipment that can “spoof” the caller ID on your phone to make it look like the call is from a legitimate IRS office.

With more taxpayers aware of phone scams, fraudsters have come up with an answer when someone questions their call demanding payment. They tell their doubting target taxpayer to go to (the IRS’s legitimate website) and look up the local Taxpayer Assistance Center’s (TAC) telephone number to verify the number showing up on their caller ID as being legitimate. The fraudsters say they will call back in a short time so that the taxpayer target can see their phone number as being legitimate. But the fraudsters use special equipment to “spoof” the caller ID on your phone to match the TAC’s phone number. This tactic is also being used by fraudsters who say they are from the local sheriff’s office, state Department of Motor Vehicles, federal agencies and others to convince targets their call and demand for payment is legitimate.

Be aware that IRS employees at TAC offices DO NOT make phone calls to taxpayers to demand payment of overdue tax bills. The IRS will most often initiate contact through regular mail delivered by the United States Postal Service and even then, taxpayers will generally first receive several letters (called “notices”) from the IRS in the mail before other collection methods are attempted.

Dale F. Jensen, CPA