Does this sound familiar?
A robotic voice, using incorrect English, threatening you over the phone.
“You will be taken under custody by the local cops,” one voicemail states.
The caller claims to be from the IRS, but it’s actually a scam.
There are others, too. In one example, thieves will file a fraudulent return, with your information, and the refund goes into your bank account.
“People are calling from third party debt collection agencies saying that this person has received an erroneous tax refund and they are calling on behalf of the IRS to reclaim the refund,” says tax attorney Rebecca Walser. “A lot of people are falling for it because these people know how much the refund was and that it was erroneous, it was not proper. They did not deserve this refund, so they are believing these people.”
When the government spots the fraud, you are on the hook for the money.
You should know the IRS will never:
– Demand immediate payment.
– Threaten to call police or immigration.
– Ask for unusual payments, like gift cards or wire transfers.
Typically the IRS will send a notice in the mail.
They will not initially contact you through email, text, social media, or the phone.
“The IRS is not calling you,” Walser said. “So if you think, maybe there is something behind this story that possibly is legitimate, all you need to do is hang up the phone and look up the IRS phone number and call them directly. And they will be able to confirm your specific information.”
To learn more about tax scams, go to IRS.gov and type in “scam” in the search field.