Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Scam Alert: bogus calls claiming to be IRS

Senior West Virginians, be on the alert. It's tax time, and a scam that has appeared cyclically over the years is rearing its ugly head again lately. A caller claims to be an Officer with the IRS and says that you owe taxes. It may or may not be preceded by a letter that appears to be from the IRS, too. The caller may be aggressive and make try to make you feel urgency to pay a reduced amount to prevent a lawsuit.

No government agency will ever call you to tell you that you owe money. If you actually owe any debt to the government you will only ever be notified by mail, and your legal rights to dispute the matter will be at least briefly explained in the letter.

Like any other caller, you should never give any personal or identifying information over the phone. Any legitimate creditor, whether a government agency, a utility company, a credit card company, or other, will respect your request to communicate with you in writing only.

Please consider reporting to the IRS if you receive a call like this impersonating an IRS agent. If www.treasury.gov/tigta/contact_report_scam.shtml If you are not sure and want to verify with the IRS whether or not you owe any taxes you can call them at 800-829-1040.
Please also consider sharing this information with people you know. Talk to other seniors, families, and people who work with seniors about how this scam works. You may be able to help prevent a senior from being victimized by spreading the word so she is alert to the possibility from the very beginning of such a call.


For more information from the IRS about these scams see www.treasury.gov/tigta/press/press_tigta-2015-01_home.htm

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