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St. Johns County and St. Augustine residents are among thousands across the country who have been targeted by scam phone callers who claim they are “with the IRS”. With an upsurge in calls in St. Johns County in recent weeks, we want you to protect our clients from becoming potential victims of these fraudulent calls.
From the IRS’s webpage and an August 2014 statement:
“These callers may demand money or may say you have a refund due and try to trick you into sharing private information. These con artists can sound convincing when they call. They may know a lot about you, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling. They use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. If you don’t answer, they often leave an “urgent” callback request.
“These telephone scams are being seen in every part of the country, and we urge people not to be deceived by these threatening phone calls,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said. “We have formal processes in place for people with tax issues. The IRS respects taxpayer rights, and these angry, shake-down calls are not how we do business.”
The IRS reminds people that they can know pretty easily when a supposed IRS caller is a fake. Here are five things the scammers often do but the IRS will not do. Any one of these five things is a tell-tale sign of a scam:
The IRS will never:
- Call to demand immediate payment, nor will we 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.”
If you are like some of our clients that have received these fraudulent calls, be sure to follow these guidelines and speak with your tax professional if you have been victim to these scams.
Stay updated up us,
The W. H. O’Connell & Associates Team