The Internal Revenue Service reminds you to be vigilant, even at your mailbox, so you don’t get scammed.
“They tend to want to take advantage of anything in the news that’s going to get your attention that’s going to help them fool you into giving up your information or your money,” said IRS spokesman Michael Devine. “Right now, the IRS has started sending out letters. We call them notices to taxpayers that they didn’t pay all their taxes last year when they filed their return.”
It’s important to remember that these messages will come in the actual postal mail and not on the phone or via email. Both of those methods are preferred by scammers because they are much cheaper to execute.
“They start targeting taxpayers who don’t owe anything,” said Devine. “They try to trick them into thinking that they do owe the IRS and that they need to pay immediately or they’re going to be arrested or something else terrible is going to happen to them.”
Even if you get something in the mail, if you know you paid what you owe, or if you think you did, you can call to confirm your position.
“If you don’t think that it’s really true, then you call the IRS at the number we’ve always had, our toll-free number (800) 829-1040 and ask if that’s really a notice,” said Devine. “Go back to your tax professional and say, hey, I got this notice in the mail. I thought I didn’t owe anything and now it says that I owe and they’re going to arrest me if I don’t pay immediately.”
In any event, if you have questions, communicate with the IRS yourself. They can clear it up quickly, but you initiate the call at their real number, so you know where it goes to.