How to Spot an IRS Scam

Scammers are everywhere. They try every trick in the book to get unsuspecting folks to fall for their traps. One of these traps is IRS scam calls. These calls consist of a tax debt scam call looking to harass honest folks in order to get money. However, these calls are hardly legit. Fraudsters pretend to be IRS agents to scare or intimidate victims.

How Can PeopleFinders Help You Avoid IRS Scams

debt collection notice past due
The IRS will not send text messages or contact people through social media.

There are plenty of scam artists out there. They masquerade as government officials to lure innocent, hardworking folks into their traps. You can spare yourself from their traps by using PeopleFinders.

Use PeopleFinders to identify IRS scam calls by learning more about the supposed government official’s information. By law, government officials must identify themselves with a name, contact information, and a badge or ID number. You can then use that information to verify if you’re dealing with a legitimate government official.

If you find you’re speaking to a potential scammer, you can contact the IRS directly to report fraudulent activity. Using PeopleFinders is the first step to avoid falling for a tax debt scam call.

Ways to Sport a Tax Debt Scam Call

Read on to find out how to identify IRS scam calls.

Unexpected Collection Calls

The IRS will never call or email you out of the blue. Scammers may try to contact you via phone, email, or text message, claiming to be from the IRS. If you receive a call or message from someone claiming to be from the IRS, be cautious and don’t give out any personal information. The IRS typically contacts taxpayers by mail, and they won’t demand immediate payment over the phone or via email.
Also, the IRS generally schedules appointments to review documentation in person. IRS agents never give out information about how much money is owed since they often allow folks to negotiate payment terms.

Urgent or Insistent Tone

Time is precious for scammers. They aim to hit and run. In other words, they plan to call you, get money, and disappear. If you detect a sense of urgency from the caller, you might be dealing with a fraudster. True government officials will not pressure you to make a payment right away. Instead, they’ll ask you to make an appointment to review your case so you can negotiate a settlement.
Additionally, asking to speak with your attorney or accountant is a good way to nip fraudsters in the bud. Cheaters generally insist on solving the issue right away. They may even make up bogus discounts and special offers just to get you to fall for their scam.

Direct Threats or Harassment

The caller may threaten legal action or arrest. Scammers often use scare tactics to pressure people into paying. If someone claiming to be from the IRS threatens to arrest you or take legal action against you, it’s likely a scam.
In fact, the IRS always asks individuals to schedule an appointment to review the case. The IRS may indicate legal action until after they have exhausted every means of negotiating with you. IRS agents will also advise you to

Calls at Odd Times

Getting calls from supposed IRS agents outside of business hours is a telltale sign of an IRS scam call. Calls late at night, early morning, or on the weekends clearly signal you’re not dealing with a legitimate government agency. Scammers call at times because they believe people are most vulnerable.
Additionally, asking scammers why they are calling you outside of business hours may lead to weak responses, such as wanting to ensure you’re free to talk. Fraudsters generally use truly lame excuses. So, be sure to pay attention to what the caller is trying to tell you.

Unusual Accents or Language

The caller may have a foreign accent. Many IRS scammers are based overseas and may have a foreign accent or use broken English. This sign is perhaps the most obvious. While some fraudsters may speak English well enough, many schemes, such as IRS scams, originate outside the US.
Keep in mind that scammers memorize scripts, especially when they are not native English speakers. So, ask them lots of questions. Force them outside of their scripts. Don’t be afraid to engage them. But please avoid giving away any personal information.

Calls from Unusual Numbers

Getting a call from an odd-looking phone number clearly indicates an IRS scam call. US-based phone numbers have a three-digit area code followed by seven digits. You might be looking at an IRS scam call if you get a call from a number with more than ten digits.
Additionally, in case you get a call from a US-based number, you can use PeopleFinder to trace the call to its precise location. You can then double-check to see where the call is actually coming from. Please note that out-of-state calls directly signal a scam call, as true IRS agents should call you from within your state and local county.

Report Fraudulent Activity

If you suspect that an IRS scammer has contacted you, don’t engage with them or provide them with any personal information. Use the information you collected on PeopleFinder to support your suspicions. You can report the scam to the IRS by visiting their website or calling their toll-free hotline at 1-800-829-1040.

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