IRS Phone Scam Has No Deadline

IRS Phone Scam Has No Deadline

IRS Phone Scam Has No Deadline

Justin Lavelle
April 18, 2016

Tax deadline day is upon us with all the stress and relief it can bring. One recent stress to do with taxes has been with IRS-related scams. While some version of the scams can rely on pressuring victims about the deadline itself, most don’t. In fact, IRS phone scams are a year-round phenomenon with no particular spike in calls around the deadline day.

Victims are actually most vulnerable to IRS phone scams in the weeks and months following deadline day. To understand why, you need to know how the most prevalent IRS phone scams work.

Incoming calls from the scam artists follow a set play. The caller accuses the victim of owing money on their tax return, hoping the person in question will be ignorant or afraid enough of their situation to cave in and immediately wire money or provide bank account details over the phone.

The IRS phone scam artists know they have a large pool of potential marks to work with. According to Investopedia, the IRS estimates that 8.2 million people owe back taxes. Others will avoid filing a tax return out of fear of their financial situation or simply as an attempt to avoid paying taxes.

Knowing how the scam focuses on demands for payment of back taxes, it makes sense then that the time immediately after deadline day would present the ideal conditions for a fresh round of these threatening calls.

So just because you have paid your taxes or made arrangements to do so, don’t expect that your risk of falling victim to a phone scam has lessened, in fact it’s just the opposite.

Remember that the best way to avoid such a scam is to know your personal tax situation and also understand how the IRS operates. The IRS will never call a taxpayer to demand payment over the phone. If you receive such a call, either by a person or through an automated voicemail, hang up the phone and report the number to local authorities. You can also block the number from calling you again.

A little knowledge on how this type of scam works will go a long way to saving you a lot of money. According to the IRS, these scams have cost individuals and businesses over $20 million since 2013.

Disclaimer: The above is solely intended for informational purposes and in no way constitutes legal advice or specific recommendations.