Why is IRS calling me? It might be an IRS Scam.
IRS Scams are becoming smarter, especially through newly available AI software. Learn how to protect yourselves and others.
Tax time has come, and with it come some of the annoying, persistent IRS scams. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is warning taxpayers of an uptick in scam activity after the April 15th deadline. It’s important to know how to protect yourself from IRS scams so that you’re not taken advantage of.
These scams are not new, but with the launch of ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence service that provides detailed responses from a simple prompt. Scammers could use them to compose more believable messages with greater efficiency like building scripts for scam phone calls impersonating IRS. AI has even come so far to have voices that sound like real people that can be interacted with.
The Fake IRS Employee
One of the most common IRS scams involves a scammer posing as an IRS employee and calling you to demand payment for a tax debt. This scammer will often threaten you with arrest, legal action, or other penalties if you don’t pay the debt immediately. Be aware that the IRS will never call you to demand immediate payment over the phone and will never threaten you with arrest or other legal action.
Phishing for Money
Another common scam involves scammers sending phishing texts that appear to be from the IRS. These messages will usually include a link or attachment that you’re asked to click on or download. This link or attachment may contain malicious software that can steal personal information such as passwords and bank account numbers. Be aware of any emails or texts that appear to be from the IRS and never click on any links or download any attachments from these messages.
Remember: The IRS may call you, but not without attempting to contact you via mail first. If they call you, they will never demand money. Best practices include visiting your local IRS office or calling into a regional office’s switchboard number, directly from the IRS website.
How to fight back against IRS scams
Download Truecaller for your cell phone – this is a free call blocking app that also has intelligent spam and scam protection to detect fake IRS calls, robocalls, telemarketers and other types of unwanted numbers. The app identifies names of international landlines and cell phones numbers. With messaging scams on the rise, Truecaller’s Smart SMS can filter out and identify scam texts, too!
Truecaller's Premium Feature fights AI with AI! Truecaller Assistant will take any unknown call for you and ask the caller their call intent. When a robocall encounters the Assistant, it automatically hangs up.
If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, hang up and call the agency directly at 1-800-829-1040. - Do not click on any links or download any attachments from emails or texts that appear
A third scam involves the use of fake IRS websites. Scammers will create websites that look like the official IRS website in order to trick taxpayers into entering personal information such as Social Security numbers, bank account numbers, and credit card numbers. If you ever receive a link to an IRS website, it’s best to type the address into your browser directly instead of clicking the link.
Finally, there are scammers who will send out fake checks or money orders in the mail. These checks or money orders will usually be made out to you and will often appear to be from the IRS. The scammers will ask you to deposit the check and then call them back with the information so they can process the payment. Be aware that the IRS will never send you checks or money orders in the mail. As you can see, there are a variety of IRS scams out there and it’s important to be aware of them.
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