INDIANAPOLIS — As tax time approaches, the Indiana Attorney General’s office has a warning out to be very careful when your phone rings.
Scammers are posing as the Internal Revenue Service, and may threaten you with a warrant or arrest.
Typically, the scammers will ask you to wire money to them or pay with gift cards.
The Indiana Attorney General’s Office Consumer Protection Division is seeing a new twist on the IRS tax time phone scam.
In the new scam, the caller calls a business pretending to be from the corporate office, and asks the manager to send a list of employees and W-2s.
“That information isn’t going to the business, it’s actually going to the scammer who will then have all your information to try to steal your identity or some other purpose they can come up with,” said Betsy DeNardi, director of Consumer Protection for the Indiana Attorney General’s office.
DeNardi said you should never give out personal information over the phone, nor should you send information to someone unless you’re sure who it is.
“We recommend if you do get a call like that and it’s not from a person you talk to regularly in your business or corporate structure, that you call the person you normally do business with to confirm they really want that information and how they want you to send that information to them,” said DeNardi.
You can file a complaint about unwanted calls at www.indianaconsumer.com .
HOW TO AVOID BECOMING A VICTIM:
- Do not answer phone calls from numbers you don’t recognize
- HANG UP! Talking or pressing buttons will just encourage scammers to keep calling
- Don’t give out any personal information
- If you have questions about your status with the IRS, call them directly at 1-800-829-1040
- Contact the Treasury Inspector General to report the call. Use their “ IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting ” webpage. You can also call 800-366-4484.
- Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “ FTC Complaint Assistant ” on FTC.gov. Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" in the notes
The IRS says they will NEVER:
- Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
- Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
- Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
- Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
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