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Please be Aware of IRS Telephone Scams

IRS Telephone Scam

In addition to recent reports in the news, we have received a few calls from our own clients regarding suspicious telephone calls from an individual claiming to be an IRS agent.  THESE CALLS ARE SCAMS.

The IRS will ALWAYS communicate with you via written notices in the mail regarding any unpaid taxes. Below are some tips that you should know:

How to recognize IRS Telephone Scams:

  • The “IRS Agent” claims in a threatening tone that you owe taxes and that you have violated the tax law.
  • The “IRS Agent” threatens to have an outstanding warrant for your arrest and tells you the police will be coming by to arrest you.
  • The “IRS Agent” starts asking you for personal information over the phone.

How to protect yourself in this situation:

  • Hang up immediately.
  • Do not give away any personal information over the phone despite how convincing the impersonator may sound.
  • Alert your local authorities that the scam is occurring in your neighborhood.
  • Inform us, your CPAs, as to what had happened.
  • Report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484.

BE AWARE, the scammers are fairly sophisticated and may be able to provide IRS badge numbers, IRS email addresses, fool caller ID devices into displaying legitimate IRS phone numbers, and possibly recite the last four digits of your social security number.

Intercepted calls on the IRS Fraud Hotline:

When dialing the IRS, you should always go straight to an automated menu first. The scammers are able to intercept calls and pretend they are the IRS call center that you are trying to reach. Recently, we dialed the IRS Fraud Hotline simultaneously with our client, and our client received a fictitious “agent” while our call went to the automated menu provided by the actual IRS.

If you have encountered an incident like this already, of if you have concerns, feel free to contact us at 212-245-5900.  For more information, please see the IRS warning of these telephone scams on their site. 

This post was written by Crystal Lee, Senior Tax Accountant

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