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Fall Security Insights - IRS Imposter Scams


IRS imposter scams occur when someone contacts you pretending to work for the IRS. The imposter may contact you by phone, email, postal mail, or even a text message. There are two common types of scams:

Tax collectionYou receive a phone call or letter, claiming that you owe taxes. They will demand that you pay the amount immediately, usually with a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. They may even threaten to arrest you if you don’t pay.

Verification:  You receive an email or text message that requires you to verify your personal information. The message often includes a hyperlink phrase which reads “click here” or you may see a button that links you to a fraudulent form or website.

  • Beware if someone calls claiming to be from the IRS. The IRS will always contact you by mail before calling you about unpaid taxes.
  • Ask the caller to provide their name, badge number, and callback number. Then call the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1-800-366-4484 to find out if the caller is an IRS employee with a legitimate reason to contact you. If you confirm that the caller is from the IRS, call them back. Otherwise, report the scam call to TIGTA.
  • Become familiar with what fraudulent IRS email messages look like.
  • Verify the number of the letter, form, or notice on the IRS website.
  • Be suspicious of threats. The IRS won’t threaten to have police arrest you for not paying a bill.

Don’t give in to demands to pay money immediately! Be especially suspicious of demands to wire money or pay with a prepaid debit card.

Don’t trust the name or phone number on a caller ID display that shows “IRS.” Scammers often change the name that shows on caller ID using a technique called spoofing.

Don’t click on any links in email or text messages to verify your information.

Contact TIGTA if you think that an IRS imposter has contacted you:

Every Wednesday this Fall, the credit union will highlight a new scam to help you stay one step ahead of the Fraudsters.


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