The East Tawakoni Police Department is warning residents of another Internal Revenue Service scam surfacing in East Texas.
Officials say scammers are changing their tactics in order to scam citizens out of money.
Scammers are now sending letters, mirroring official IRS notices, to residents saying they owe money in addition to the phony phone calls and e-mails.
Although the IRS does notify citizens via U.S. mail, you must make sure the letter is actually from the IRS. One very noticeable mistake the scammers make is telling you to send checks to the “I.R.S.”
According to the IRS website, checks, money orders or cashier’s checks are to be made payable to the U.S. Treasury.
The IRS will never:
– Angrily demand immediate payment over the phone, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
– Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
– 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.
“There are clear warning signs about these scams, which continue at high levels throughout the nation,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “Taxpayers should remember their first contact with the IRS will not be a call from out of the blue, but through official correspondence sent through the mail. A big red flag for these scams are angry, threatening calls from people who say they are from the IRS and urging immediate payment. This is not how we operate. People should hang up immediately and contact TIGTA or the IRS.”
If you get a phone call, e-mail or letter from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, please take the following steps to verify the source:
– If you actually do owe taxes, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you with a payment issue.
– If you know you don’t owe taxes or do not immediately believe that you do, you can report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1-800-366-4484.
If you’ve been targeted by any scam, be sure to contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your complaint.