The phone rings and it’s the IRS – or so says the caller on the other end. The conversation that follows is aggressive, demanding and frightening. According to Consumer Reports, what’s really going on is a scam where criminals are preying upon people’s fears of making a tax return mistake or the appeal of getting a bigger refund. Learn what to do if you fall victim to a tax scam.
Tax scams take many forms, with perpetrators posing as the IRS in everything from e-mail refund schemes to phone impersonators. If you discover or fear you are a tax ID theft victim, contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at (800) 908-4490. You will need to fill out the IRS Identity Theft Affidavit, Form 14039 (PDF).
If you have experienced monetary losses due to an IRS-related incident you will need to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission through their Complaint Assistant to make that information available to investigators.
Remember, the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels.
Additional resources dedicated to identity theft issues on IRS.gov can be found at the IRS Identity Protection section.
Learn about this year’s tax scams issued by the IRS as the “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams for 2014 and protect yourself from becoming another tax scam victim.