Any unexpected contact from the Internal Revenue Service is bound to make a taxpayer nervous. This is understandable. Most people are so afraid of the agency that they do whatever the communication says without second guessing it. Individuals may want to reconsider this approach however. This is because there is a tax scam going around that is seeking to get money from unsuspecting people who fall into this category.
There are several things that the scam has working in its favor. The first is that the scammers are using threats to scare individuals who are generally considered to be more vulnerable than the average taxpayer, into paying the amount sought. For example, new immigrants and elderly individuals are threatened with things like the loss of their driver’s license and deportation respectively. In addition, the phone number that appears on taxpayers’ caller id is made to appear as though the call is legitimate, coming from an IRS office.
In another approach, the scammers tell the taxpayer that they are actually owed money from the IRS. To receive it, they have to provide personal information that could then be used by the scammers to actually take the taxpayer’s money.
Though these scammers are relentless and do not easily give up, taxpayers should be aware that the IRS will never contact a taxpayer, to ask for money, over the phone. Usually, their first course of contact is regular mail.
As is the case with any tax matter it is important to not be too hasty in making decisions regarding how to proceed. A good way to get the additional information necessary to make an educated decision is to consult with a lawyer.