Beware IRS Impersonation scams
Updated: Jan 24
Last night, my Client received a call last night from a 614-area code number (Columbus, OH area code) claiming to be the IRS. The call was to his US "Magic Jack" phone number. A prerecorded message mentioned a case number and gave him a number to call back. The emphasis was on the 614 number to call back. Most likely, had he called back he would reach a call center in India full of scammers trained in the art of deception. They may have tried to get personal information from him or tried to get him to make a payment by buying pre-loaded gift cards.
Getting a call claiming to be from the "IRS" can throw anyone off guard. First, stop and think. Did it make sense? A case number should be personal to your case, so why would anyone use a prerecorded message for an actual case number? Or perhaps they are calling many people with the same message. When in doubt, Google the details or ask your accountant.
There is almost no situation under which the IRS will call you. In any situation where they call, they would have sent notices first, either about an ongoing audit or multiple unanswered collection notices. Any real IRS agent will begin by giving you their badge number. You may ask them to repeat their name and badge number. If you aren't in a place where you can write it down, you can ask that they call you back, or if you are busy, ask for the number to call back.
The IRS will not ask you to make payments over the phone. All payments would be made through the IRS website (NEVER from a link in an email) or by check payable to the United States Treasury.
When in doubt, try doing an internet search for the number that called you or the number they told you to call + "IRS." You will probably see lots other people posting about scams. You can also lookup any notices they mention here: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-utl/6209-section9-2012.pdf
For more information and how to report scams, visit:
And if you love hearing about these evil schemes, check out one of my favorite podcasts - Reply All from Gimlet Media.