Imposters pretending to be from the IRS are targeting taxpayers again with fake emails and phone calls. Here’s what to watch for.
How the scams work
With this new scam the person posing as an IRS employee falsely claims you owe taxes and must pay them immediately or face serious penalties.
Not only are the calls, voicemails or text messages from IRS imposters scary, but they seem real. The caller ID on your phone might show “Internal Revenue Service” or “Federal Government.” It might even display the real number for the IRS. Or the scammer might give you a name and badge number with a telephone number to gain your trust.
Not all scams take place over the phone. Phishing scams use email with subject lines such as "IRS Important Notice" or "IRS Taxpayer Notice." They try to gain your confidence, leading you to open the email and click on unsafe links. Don’t take the bait. You can protect yourself from phishing attacks.
How do you know if the contact is real?
There are many different types of IRS imposter scams, so here’s what the IRS will not do:
- Call to demand immediate payment with a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer.
- Threaten to bring in local police or other law enforcement groups to have you arrested or deported for not paying.
- Demand payment without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
- Contact you by email, text message or through social media to request personal or financial information such as PINs, passwords, credit card, bank or other account information.
Report IRS imposter scams
If you get an email from someone claiming to be from the IRS, don’t open any attachments or click on any links contained in the message. Instead, forward the email to email@example.com. If the contact comes by phone, hang up and call the IRS’ toll-free number at 800.829.1040.
If you suspect your LGFCU account has been compromised because of a taxpayer scam, call us right away at 888.732.8562.