As tax day approaches, tax-related scams are on the rise. And if you ever get a phone call from the IRS, know this: it’s likely a scam.
Even if your caller ID says it’s the Internal Revenue Service, a scammer likely used technology called "spoofing" to make it look like the IRS is calling.
The IRS says it will always contact you by postal mail first. If you haven’t received a letter, you can rest easy that the call from them isn’t legit.
Here are some other things the IRS will NOT do:
- The IRS will never call and demand immediate payment, especially payment using prepaid debit cards, gift cards or wire transfer.
- The IRS won’t take credit, debit or gift card numbers over the phone.
- The IRS will not call the police or have you arrested for not paying taxes.
- The IRS also won’t demand you pay taxes without allowing you to question or appeal what it says you owe.
The best course of action if you receive a call?
If you think you might owe taxes, hang up and call the IRS directly at its official number: 1-800-829-1040.
But what if the situation is the opposite and the IRS owes you money?
Many California residents haven’t filed taxes for 2015, and the IRS released a statement saying about $124 million is owed in refunds. But you have to file to get your refund – so don’t put it off any longer.
Watch the video below to hear examples of what fake IRS calls sound like.
You can also register your phone number on the "Do Not Call" list. Submit complaints at this link.