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IRS warns of ongoing phone scams

Published 5:49pm Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Internal Revenue Service and Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration are warning individuals of unsolicited calls from people claiming to IRS agents demanding payment for overdue taxes.

Media relations for the IRS office for Tennessee and Alabama, Dan Boone, explained the IRS would not directly make a phone call about overdue taxes, or other issues, without first sending a letter to an individual.

“Just remember that if you really do owe taxes to the IRS, you’ll get a notice in the mail. You may even get a series of notices in the mail before you’ll ever get a phone call from the IRS.”

Individuals receiving calls from those impersonating an IRS agent may notice the caller is requesting a specific payment method to pay the overdue taxes. Boone said this is not something the IRS would do, and the IRS would not request credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

“The IRS never calls out of the blue, and we never ask for credit card or debit card or prepaid card information over the phone,” Boone said. “The IRS also does not require that taxpayers use a specific payment method. If we’re calling and asking you to pay, we may give you the option for a payment plan or mail a check, several different options for paying. We won’t demand one specific way to pay.”

Lt. Bryan Weed with the Troy Police Department said individuals who are receiving suspicious phone calls need to be mindful of what is being asked of them and verify the requests being made.

“That’s just not how business is done,” Weed said. “You’ve just have to be mindful that if it sounds weird to verify it. If somebody calls and says that, generally people know whether or not their bills are due.”

Those who feel they have been affected by the scam are asked to inform the IRS and the Treasury General, Boone said.

“You can do that by calling (800) 866-4484 or going to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration website,” Boone said. “Also, if you have been a victim, we act that your report it to the Federal Trade Commission.”

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