There are lots of scam-related phone calls out there nowadays, many of which target seniors in the hopes of obtaining personal data or money. However, one such scam that can be particularly scary is if someone says they are calling from the IRS. After all, we all want to stay on the good side of the “tax man”, right? Unfortunately, these scammers know that.
In 2013, IRS scams cost victims $23 million, according to the IRS. Although seniors are particularly vulnerable with IRS scam calls, these sorts of calls can affect those of any age.
So, just how can you know if the IRS actually wants to get in touch with you—or if it’s a scammer? Here are a few tips:
- There’s a demand for immediate payment. “A typical approach from IRS-related scammers is to call an individual claiming to be the IRS. They can be very aggressive and demand payment immediately,” says Michelle Tourjee, CPA. “The scammer may demand to be paid in cash, wire transfer, prepaid debit cards, and even iTunes gift cards.” In reality, the IRS will not call you to demand immediate payment, and they will not bring out the police or other agencies to arrest you for not paying, Tourjee says.
- They’ll try to scare you. “Many phone scams use threats to intimidate and bully a victim into paying. They may even threaten to arrest, deport or revoke the license of their victim if they don’t get the money,” the IRS reports.
- They’ll use something called ID spoofing. That means they’ll change up the caller ID so it looks like the IRS or another related agency is calling you. They may have some personal information about you to make it sound more official.
So, just what should you do if you get a fake IRS call? First, do not give out any information, and hang up immediately, Tourjee advises. You can contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration to report the call by using the IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting webpage. Or, call 1-800-366-4484.
If you think you have been the victim of an IRS scam phone call or you want more information on how to watch out for these types of calls, you can contact Michelle Tourjee, CPA, at 941-281-2462.
Call Secure Aging to Find Out How We Can Help Seniors With Money Management
At Secure Aging in Bradenton, we transform the weight of the world into a sigh of relief for our senior clients and their concerned family members. The mission of Secure Aging is to protect and preserve our client’s independence and dignity through careful and thoughtful financial and care management. As our clients age, it is their desire to remain independent and age with dignity. Our services protect our clients from talented con artists looking to exploit and deplete the financial resources of our vulnerable seniors. Secure Aging helps families in Manatee County and Sarasota County and in and around the communities of Anna Maria, Bradenton, Bradenton Beach, Ellenton, Holmes Beach, Lakewood Ranch, Longboat Key, Myakka City, Palmetto, Parrish, and Sarasota. Call us at 941-761-9338, or visit us online at www.secureaging.com.