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The IRS is Not Going to Call You

Posted on 04/16/24

Tax season isn't just about filing returns; it's also prime time for IRS impostor scams. According to the Federal Trade Commission, consumers reported theft of $5.8 million via these scams in 2023 alone. Here is what you need to know about IRS impostors so you can stay one step ahead of these crooks.

IRS impostor scams often begin with a robocall, instructing you to press a number on your keypad to talk with a live agent or call back using the number provided. Victims often trust these contacts because the phone numbers seem legitimate. However, scammers can manipulate caller ID to appear as though the call is coming from the IRS.

Once they have you on the phone, they may demand payment for back taxes under the threat of arrest. The payment of choice in these scams tend to be via wire transfer, gift cards, or cryptocurrency. If you get this type of request, it is 100% certainly a scam.

Sometimes these impostors will claim the IRS owes you an unexpected refund in an attempt to steal sensitive information like your Social Security number or bank account details.

Even if a caller has personally identifiable information of yours to “prove” who they are, don’t believe it. Disengage, and if you’re concerned, contact the entity via a trusted number (a paper statement or by finding a number on that entity’s website).

Be a fraud fighter! If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.

Visit the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork  or call the AARP Fraud Watch Helpline at 1-877-908-3360.

This story is provided by AARP Maryland. Visit the AARP Maryland page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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