|Details:||IRS Phone Scams:|
Did the IRS call you?
Aggressive voice mails, text messages, and calls from scammers impersonating IRS agents have been on the rise around tax season, and a lot of victims fall for it.
These calls can come from a phone number local to you, from a Washington DC (202 area code) number, or any number they bought from Magic Jack, Google Voice, or similar Voice-over-IP service.
The call will likely have these two things:
These calls are scams.
Do not fall for it.
- A fear: like your social security number has been compromised, or you have a legal notice against you, and
- A threat such as arrest, license revocation, or legal action against you.
Here is a statement from the IRS and a statement from the US Treasury office about these phone scams.
Here is a notice from the FTC regarding this scam.
Things to remember:
How can you be sure?
- The IRS mails letters.
They do not initiate communications over the phone.
- If, in the rare case the IRS does call you, they will ask you to contact your local IRS branch office.
Their phone numbers are on their website, and are all 800, 877, and 866 numbers.
- IRS employees will never give you their direct phone number, and will never call you from their direct phone number.
How do these scams work?
According to Pindrop, attackers buy a MagicJack Voice-over-IP phone number to hide their calling country (such as India or Russia).
They use scare tactics to get personal information from you, then sell your information to criminal enterprises that could steal your money, hack your computers or bank accounts, and ruin your credit.
- Type the caller's phone number into Google, and read other people's experience with receiving calls from that number.
Others may have reported similar calls from that phone number.
- Use TelcoData.us to see what company owns the phone number that called you.
Enter the area code and first 3 digital of the phone number.
If you see "Bandwidth.com", they are a wholesale provider of phone numbers to Voice-over-IP services such as Magic Jack, Google Voice, and others.
Voice-over-IP means anyone in the world could use that phone number.
- Call the IRS through one of their official phone numbers, to see if they actually did try to contact you.
If an unknown person calls you, never believe they are who they say they are unless you have some proof.