IRS tax scam season: the least wonderful time of the year | SierraSun.com

IRS tax scam season: the least wonderful time of the year

Staff report

WASHOE COUNTY, Nev. — The Washoe County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday received "dozens of calls from the public" reporting telephone scams involving aggressive and threatening criminals impersonating IRS agents, officials said.

"Because public awareness is one of the most important keys to preventing this type of scam, the Sheriff's Office reminds residents to stay alert," WCSO spokesman Bob Harmon said in a news releasee

According to the IRS, there are five things that scammers often do, but the IRS will never do:

1: Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.

2 :Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.

3: Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.

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4: Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

5: Threaten to bring in local police or other law enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

"According to the IRS, fraudulent callers often alter caller ID numbers to make it look like the IRS is calling and will identify themselves by using fake names and bogus IRS badge numbers," Harmon said. "The caller may sound convincing and know the victim's name, address, or other identifying information that is often easily obtainable through resources available to the public."

Anyone who receives a scam telephone call is encouraged to report it to the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484 or a tigta.gov.

Additionally, IRS recommends contacting the Federal Trade Commission and using its "FTC Complaint Assistant" at ftc.gov and include "IRS Telephone Scam" in the comments.

For more information on reporting tax scams, visit irs.gov and type "scam" in the search box.