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IRS warns Indiana taxpayers of tax scams as season begins January 23

Typically, scammers make threatening or alarming calls posing as the IRS
IRS
Posted at 4:11 PM, Jan 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-13 18:16:59-05

INDIANAPOLIS — The 2023 tax season officially begins on January 23, and scammers are gearing up to steal your personal information and your money.

Typically, scammers make threatening or alarming calls posing as the IRS.

“Tax time is scam time,” said Luis Garcia, a spokesperson for the IRS. “They want your personal information so they can pretend to be you and get your refund or so they can take out loans or open credit cards."

Scammers may also email, text, message you on social media, or even show up at your door.

The IRS says they will never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail a bill to any taxpayer who owes taxes.
  • Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law enforcement groups to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying.
  • Demand that taxes be paid without giving taxpayers the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
  • Call unexpectedly about a tax refund.

“The IRS does not accept iTunes gift cards for taxes,” said Garcia. “That’s currency for scammers.”

If you get a phone call claiming to be from the IRS, record the number and then hang up the phone immediately.

“Keep in mind the IRS will rarely call you just out of the blue,” said Garcia. “99 percent of the people are going to get a letter in the mail and in some cases they’ll have a stack of letters they haven’t responded to before an IRS agent shows up at your door."

Remember, phone numbers can be spoofed and can appear to come from Washington D.C. even when they’re not.

You can call the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040 or visit their website.

"Go to IRS.gov and check and make sure that number is legitimate,” said Garcia. “You can call our 800 number. Anytime anyone is speaking to you in a menacing or harassing tone, it's probably a scammer."

RELATED | Mother loses thousands in government imposter scam

How to report an IRS impersonator:

Have you been a victim of a scam? Contact WRTV Investigates at kara.kenney@wrtv.com.

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