IRS Phone Scams: 5 Things to Watch Out For
Have you ever been on the phone with someone who claims to be a representative of some sort of official government agency, but something just doesn’t seem right? They use all of the right words, and possibly even answer some questions you may have. Then they start inquiring about your personal information, and make claims that you owe an amount of money you were unaware? If you’ve had this sort of experience, and were smart enough not to give them anything to work with, you are a part of a very lucky group of individuals.
Millions of people are the victims of these horrendous scams each year. Some people can smell a rat from a mile away, and never fall victim to these crimes. Others however, are not as keen. It also doesn’t help that these criminals have begun to perfect their craft in recent years. So how can you keep yourself safe? How do you know the person you are talking to on the phone is actually an IRS Representative and not some Money Grabber in Nigeria? Here’s 5 things to watch out for when talking on the phone with supposed IRS agents.
1. Demand to Set Up Immediate Payment Method
I will keep it very simple here. The Keyword is “Demand.” If they are demanding that you pay some debt you know nothing about, they you should hang up. Even before that, hang up if they try telling you that you owe some ridiculous amount of money you are unaware of. The whole goal of these scammers is to cause fear and panic, and have you react.
2. Threaten You with Jail Time
Piggy Backing off of the last point. The more they get you to freak out, the more inclined you will be to whip out your credit card. I have seen videos of scammers on the phone with people, saying things like, “If you do not pay the $7,000 I will have to have you arrested.” For a person who is unaware of these criminals schemes, they will feel like they have to do something because they don’t want to go to jail. A lot of elderly people fall victim to these scams, and its truly heart breaking.
3. Ask You for Your Credit/Debit Card Number Over the Phone
This will usually come immediately after they threaten to call the cops on you and throw you in prison. They have got you in a state of panic, and they are ready to seal the deal. Frantic about the potential police officers zooming to your location, you whip it out and read off the numbers on the front and back of your card, hoping they will call off the cops if they get the money you owe them.
To you, this may sound kind of silly. You might be thinking, “Anyone with half a brain could figure they are being scammed over the phone.” While I might agree with you that perhaps the average person might be able to uncover a scheme of such magnitude, the scammers of today are evolving. Changing their tactics to target people who vulnerable and easily influenced. It certainly seems to be working for them. This IRS scam brings in millions of dollars a year. Leaving people in utter and total financial ruin.
4. Call You Out of The Blue to Pay a Refund Due to You
Here’s an angle that’s a little craftier. If you get a call from the IRS telling you they want to refund money to you, you are more likely to be trusting. Why? Because they aren’t asking you to pay any money. What do they still get if you cooperate? Your banks information. Why? Because they will need it to “transfer” the funds into your account. If they get your account info, it’s all over.
5. Deny You the Chance to Appeal the Amount You Owe
If you are being told that you owe an incredible amount of money, you have the right to challenge that claim. Especially if you know that you don’t owe the money. IRS Scammers will not let you even consider appealing the amount they are telling you that you owe. For them, they will do everything they can to get you to give up your information without really thinking it through.
It’s all pretty simple stuff. Just keep it in the front of your mind next time you get a call from someone suspicious. I certainly hope this helps keep some people safe. Check Our Reviews page for more insight into trusted companies. Check our site for reviews of all kind. It’s great place to become more knowledgeable about the world of finance, and will shed some light on some of the scams out there. Check out the previous post by clicking here.