Beware of IRS scams this tax season!
You get a call from someone who says they are from the IRS. They
say that you owe back taxes. They threaten to sue you, arrest or deport you, or
revoke your license if you don’t pay right away. They tell you to wire them money,
or to put money on a prepaid debit card and give them the card numbers.
The real IRS will not ask you to pay with prepaid debit
cards or wire transfers. They also will not ask for a credit card over the
phone. When the IRS first contacts you about unpaid taxes, they do it by mail,
not by phone. Caller IDs can be faked. If
you receive a call where the person is identifying himself or herself as a representative,
officer, or agent of the IRS, hang up.
Do not give a scam artist an opportunity to even begin to engage in a
conversation. If you are able to block the number they are calling from do so
These scammers are professional con artists who are using
fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. They may know your name
and your address and phone number. They may even know part of your Social Security number! Do not verify that any of the information is
correct - simply hang up. If the caller calls back, is harassing or
rude, interrupt them and say; “We have a bad connection, call me back on my
other line.” Give them the District Attorney’s Office number (209) 468-2400.
These calls are made to victims for the purpose of stealing
their money or obtaining as much personal identification as possible to commit
identity theft. If you would not open
your front door, invite a stranger into your home, and share your personally identifying information with them, never
do so over the telephone. You must do
your part to protect yourself as these scams are difficult to investigate and
prosecute. Most of these fraudulent callers are calling from outside the United
States from phone numbers that cannot be traced by local law enforcement agencies. If you make a “payment” over the phone, or by
purchasing gift cards as payment, you are not likely to get any of your money
back and you may be risking the entire
amount of money in your account.
We see an increase in these types
of scams during tax season. Don’t be a victim, just hang up.
Remember, the IRS will NEVER:
- Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the
agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill
- Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the
opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe
- Require you to use a specific payment method for
your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card or gift card
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the
- Threaten to bring in local police or other
law enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
If you have tax questions, contact the IRS at 800-829-1040.
Learn to protect yourself from tax identity theft and IRS
impostor scams and then pass this information on to a friend. You may not have
gotten one of these calls, but chances are you know someone who has. Check out
our Identity Theft Page for more information on what to do if your information is