Sunday, December 20, 2015

If the IRS calls, hang up!

Listening to the local news a few days ago, I cringed as another innocent victim fell prey to the well-known IRS scam whereby an "agent" calls you to report you are delinquent on your taxes and owe penalties in the form of heavy fines. See the story: Local couple loses money to IRS scam.

If you receive a message of this nature on your voice mail, do not return the call. If you pick up the phone and someone claims to be from the IRS, hang up the phone without saying anything.

Know this: The IRS will not call you to collect back taxes. They use the postal service for notifications of this nature.

Victims of this scam are typically immigrants and the elderly. But any of us can become a victim of fraud or any social engineering scam if we aren't on our toes. Stay alert and reject any such phone calls. If you do return such a call or engage these guys on the phone, then you've validated your phone number, and they will keep trying.

Just hang up!

If you do receive such a call, you can report it to the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for tax administration at 800.366.4484. If you receive an email that appears to be an IRS scam, forward it to phishing@IRS.gov, and then delete the message or send it to your spam or junk email folder. Do not reply to any such email.

How do we fight back? Sharing this message with anyone and everyone you know is the best way to put a stop to this threat. Spread the word. Information is our most effective weapon.

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