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Common Signs of an IRS Scam

There are a variety of different IRS scams that it is difficult to pin point every single one of them and go into the details of each. The best way to avoid any of these scams is arming yourself with the knowledge of what the real IRS will and won’t do. If you know the basics of how the IRS works it will help you better identify a scam.

The IRS will start by mailing a bill to your home if you do owe unpaid taxes. But if you receive a bill do not automatically assume it is real. The scammers recently caught onto this and have been mailing fake bills to people stating they owe back taxes. In any situation, if you have doubts whether something from the IRS is legit or not, you can call the IRS directly to find out. The number for the IRS is 800-829-1040. If you are in doubt, you shouldn’t call the number on the notice because if it is a fake notice then the number will just call the scammers instead of the real IRS.

The IRS will not leave pre-recorded messages on your phone. They will not threaten to immediately bring in the local police, have someone deported, or revoke driver’s licenses. They will also never demand payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card, or wire transfer. The IRS will also give taxpayers the opportunity to ask questions or appeal taxes due.

If you received a scam phone call you can report it to phishing@irs.gov and give the IRS the callback number of the scammer, putting “IRS Phone Scam” as the subject line.

Please consult your tax advisor on all the above issues.

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