It is the IRS or a tax scam?

IRS fraud, IRS scam

Hello, this is the IRS…

Many of us have gotten the call. It’s a robotic voice and it’s scary. Your heart rate goes higher. You start sweating. You start freaking out. It goes something like this, “This is the IRS and you are being sued. You must contact us at 800xxxxxxx immediately to avoid further litigation”. Be very wary of these calls, this is NOT how the IRS does business. These calls increase in frequency around the tax filing deadline. The problem has become so flagrant, the IRS has come out with a list of the most likely scams.

The tax filing deadline is quickly approaching which means the opportunity for criminals hoping to take advantage of unsuspecting citizens is back again. It’s such a large and reoccurring problem that the IRS publishes a list of the 12 worst tax scams of the year known as the “Dirty Dozen”. The best things you can do if you get one of these types of calls is to keep some items in mind.

The Internal Revenue Service:

  • Will begin any contact with a letter sent via USPS. It does not start with e-mail, text, phone, or social media. It definitely won’t start with requesting personal financial information via phone or one of the other means.
  • Do not issue immediate calls for payment.
  • Cannot simply ask for payment without giving you an opportunity to show documentation, ask questions, and even file an appeal.
  • Do not make threats that they’ll file criminal charges.
  • Do not take away your driver’s license, business license, or immigration status.
  • Only accept payments through checks made out to the US Treasury or through their website payment system.
  • Must identify themselves. If a person visits you claiming to be from the IRS, ask for their credentials. They should have a commission and HSPD-12 card. You have a right to request it.

Bottom line is that if you have doubts, contact the IRS directly. Not the number left on a voicemail but the actual phone number that shows on irs.gov. Should you inadvertently fall for said traps, it is important to promptly put a freeze on your credit. You can also look to get identity theft insurance to protect you. If you have questions about identity theft insurance, contact the Joyce Feldman Insurance Team. We service homes throughout California including but not limited to San Ramon, Danville, Walnut Creek, and San Francisco.