January 29, 2015 by Lisa Brammer
No one wants to hear from the IRS, it’s usually bad news. But, do you know what’s worse than the IRS contacting you and collecting a past-due tax? Finding out it wasn’t the IRS, and your hard earned money is gone!
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) this is Tax Identity Theft Awareness week. Who knew? Anyway, as it turns out, IRS imposter scams have skyrocketed. Complaints received by the FTC have gone from 94/month less than 18 months ago to over 8000/month now.
Here’s how the scam works:
• You get a call, the caller ID might even show it’s the IRS calling!
• The caller has been known to have the last four digits of your Social Security Number and provides a badge number.
No wonder people have been duped!
• You are told you owe money and if you don’t pay you will be arrested.
• The so-called IRS agent then tells you to either wire the money to them or put the money on a prepaid debit card.
• If you pay, your money is gone!
According to the FTC’s website, the IRS will NOT contact you by phone or email. They will correspond through regular mail. It’s also important to know that the IRS will NOT ask you to pay with a prepaid debt card or a money transfer—they do not require a specific type of payment.
If you receive a call similar to the one I’ve described:
• Do not give the caller any of your financial or personal information.
• Write down the phone number and name of the caller—the more details the better. Providing date and time of call might also be helpful.
• Hang up
• If you are concerned that the call was legitimate, contact the IRS directly at 800-829-1040 or at irs.gov.
• Report the call and file a report with the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at tigta.gov or 800-366-4484.
Please warn your friends and family so they aren’t caught unaware. The more information we have, the less likely we are to be scammed.
Founded in 1950, United Credit Service, Inc. is a full service, licensed revenue cycle management and debt collection agency in Wisconsin providing highly effective, customized one on one management and recovery solutions for our business partners. We offer pre-service collection solutions as well as traditional back-end collections. Visit our website at http://www.unitedcreditservice.com or call 877-723-2902.