IRS scammers are up to their old tricks again! One of the most common phone scams every year happens when someone impersonating the IRS calls up and starts asking for money.
Although the IRS will never contact you by phone to demand immediate payment, this scam continues to spread.
IRS Phone Scam Alert: What You Need to Know
Hiya, a smartphone app that protects users from phone spam and scam calls, says there’s been a 49% increase in IRS-related scams at the time of this writing (August 2020) compared to 2019.
When an IRS impersonator calls, they’ll say you owe them money and may threaten legal action or even arrest. Don’t fall for it.
The scammers will often use caller ID spoofing to make their number show up as “IRS,” but that’s not always the case. Hiya says these are the top area codes where tax scam calls appear to originate:
- 202: Washington, D.C.
- 512: Austin, Texas
- 214 & 972: Dallas
- 312: Chicago
- 410: Baltimore
- 210: San Antonio, Texas
- 213: Los Angeles
- 405: Oklahoma City
- 212 & 917: New York City
- 305: Miami
Here’s a tip from money expert Clark Howard: Never answer phone calls from anyone you don’t know! If it’s a family member or friend trying to reach you, they can leave a voicemail and you’ll call them back.
Remember, the IRS won’t threaten you or demand payment over the phone. The first contact is typically through regular mail.
If you’re receiving a lot of scam calls lately, now is the time to take action and protect yourself. Team Clark has put together a guide with free and low-cost tools to stop robocalls!