Five ways to know if there’s an IRS imposter on the phone

A scam by callers reporting themselves to be IRS agents was reported last week by Sheriff Randy Meeks to be active in Hunt County.

The Internal Revenue Service issued a consumer alert this week to provide taxpayers with additional tips to protect themselves from telephone scam artists calling and pretending to be with the IRS.

These callers may demand money or may say you have a refund due. Bottom line—they try to trick you into sharing private information. These con artists can sound convincing when they call. They may know a lot about you, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling. They use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. If you don’t answer, they often leave an “urgent” callback request.

 “In many cases, the caller becomes aggressive and rude,” said Clay Sanford, an IRS spokesman in Dallas. “If the victim refuses to cooperate, they may be threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license.”

The IRS reminded people they can know when a supposed IRS caller is a fake. Here are five things the scammers often do but the IRS will not do. Any one of these five things is a tell-tale sign of a scam. The IRS will never:

1) Call you about taxes you owe without first mailing you an official notice.

2) Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.

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