The prior year is now in the history books, so, at the start of this new year, it’s time for Americans to get their finances in order. With that in mind, IRS related scams are on the rise, having increased by 23% from the year before, according to FTC Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book. As the prior fiscal year has now come to an end, be on the lookout for IRS scams so you don’t fall victim to them.
The two most common types of IRS scams happen over the phone. When a scammer who is posing as an IRS agent calls you, their main goal is to gather small bits of information that they can then later use to commit identity theft against you. There are two ways the criminal will fool you: either demanding payment immediately or claiming that they have your refund and that they need identifying information to send it out to you.
It is easy to fall for these scams since the person on the other line will likely alter the caller ID to reflect a number that is similar to the IRS or to what you might think is an IRS number. Not only that, the scammer will assert that their name and employee I.D. number is such and such, and those may seem real, but in fact, they are completely made up.
Remember, the IRS will never ask for immediate payment over the phone. If the person on the line is claiming to be from the IRS and they’re asking for payment, they aren’t a real IRS employee. Hang up!
The IRS will NEVER:
- Ask for specific methods of payment (like a prepaid debit card)
- Ask for credit card information over the phone
- Threaten to call local law-enforcement if you do not pay
- Demand immediate payment
- Demand you pay the taxes without giving you opportunity to appeal the amount
If you do get a call from someone who you assume is the IRS, take extra precaution. It’s best to hang up and call the number listed on the IRS website to confirm that it was truly the IRS that had just called you. Be suspicious as it very well could be a scammer trying to demand payment or solicit personal identifying information from you to use against you.
The bottom line is that there’s really no better time than the present to become a LibertyID member for identity theft restoration protection. Our extended family plan covers the member, their spouse/partner, the member and spouse’s/partner’s parents and their children. We’re the AAA of identity theft restoration, offering a 100% guaranteed identity theft restoration service. But just like with AAA, you have to get covered before there’s an incident. When you sign up for LibertyID, you’re covering yourself and your family from the fallout of identity theft and the potentially hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars lost due to identity theft.