Mike Timmermann, Clark.com
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, reports that IRS and tax phone scams have gone up 1218% year over year from January and February 2017 to 2018.
When the IRS impersonator calls, they’ll say you owe them money and may threaten legal action or an 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 scams appear to originate:
- 202 – Washington, D.C.
- 206 – Seattle
- 315 – Upstate New York
- 470 – Atlanta
- 631 – Central and East Long Island, NY
- 314 – St. Louis, Missouri
- 415 – San Francisco
- 786 – Miami
- 646 – New York City
Many of money expert Clark Howard’s fans have stopped answering phone calls from anyone they don’t know because a family member or friend can always leave a voicemail and you’ll call them back.
The IRS will not threaten you or demand payment over the phone. It initiates most contacts through regular mail.