“Phishing” is defined as the attempt to gather secure information such as usernames, passwords, credit card info, etc. by posing as a trustworthy business or organization in electronic communication. A common form of taxpayer phishing we have seen lately involves telephone calls to taxpayers from companies posing as the IRS. The IRS reminds people that they can know pretty easily when a supposed IRS caller or call is a fake.
Here are a few things the scammers often do but the IRS will not do. Any one of these things is a tell-tale sign of a scam. The IRS will never:
- Call you about taxes you owe without first mailing you an official notice
- 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
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone
- Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying
- Exhibit aggression toward a taxpayer in any way, either through verbal or written communication
Just remember to be cautious about who you give your private information to, and to please call us at (970) 682-6600 if you ever have doubts about the legitimacy of a phone call or email from the IRS.