Phone scams on the rise every Tax Season

Tax season is the time when people with jobs need to pay their taxes, but this is also the time that scammers are waiting for.

Phone scams are emerging as one of the most persistent and prevalent problems for taxpayers. At a U.S. Senate Finance Committee hearing on Wednesday, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said callers are impersonating Internal Revenue Service employees and frightening unsuspecting consumers by threatening arrests or repeal of their driver’s license unless they receive immediate payment. This year, IRS impersonators have become the largest and most pervasive scam, costing Americans $15.5 million.

TurboTax®, from Intuit Inc. INTU, -0.08% offers taxpayers the following advice to protect themselves from tax time scams, and reminds Americans that the IRS will never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
  • 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.
  • Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

If you receive a call from someone who claims to be with the IRS asking you to pay back taxes, here’s what you should do:

  • If you owe, or think you might owe federal taxes: Hang up and call the IRS at 800-829-1040 FREE.
  • If you don’t owe taxes: Report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484 FREE or at
  • File a complaint: If you think you’re a victim of a phone scam, you may also file a complaint using the FTC Complaint Assistant; choose “Other” and then “Imposter Scams.” If the complaint involves someone impersonating the IRS, include the words “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.

To learn more about ways to safeguard your information, visit Intuit’s online security center or go to to guard against phone scams.

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