IRS Scam Resurfaces As Tax Season Winds Down
Mainers are getting scam calls, claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service, as the tax season begins to wind down.
This can be a stressful time of year, if you're still procrastinating about doing your taxes, or just putting off filing them because you don't want to write that big check. So the last thing you need is for the IRS to call and tell you that you owe them even more money. But the stress of tax season is exactly what some scammers are counting on as they try to trick Mainers out of their hard-earned money.
I know several people who have received these calls. They pick up the phone and someone on the other end tells them they're from the IRS. The alleged offense varies from a mistake on your previous tax forms that's caused additional charges, to claims that you forgot to file, at some point. But the demands are the same - pay up immediately or the police will show up and throw you in jail.
The first thing to keep in mind is that the IRS will not call you 'out of the blue' and demand money. Notifications from the IRS always start by mail. And they won't send the police to your house unless you pay immediately. In fact, they will never demand 'instant payment.' Don't be fooled by the caller ID, if it claims to be from the actual IRS. Scammers can fake what shows up on your caller ID.
If you get one of these calls, just hang up. Don't engage, don't argue, just end the call. And if you're still feeling uneasy about whether you actually owe taxes, call the actual IRS helpline 1-800-829-1040 or log onto the IRS website. And find more tips about avoiding being scammed on the Maine Attorney General's website.