Beware IRS Telephone Scams
By Steven A Leahy
The biggest news about the IRS lately is really NOT about the IRS. I receive at least 5 calls a week about the “IRS” contacting taxpayers and telling them they are under investigation, or about to be sued or about to be arrested because the owe the IRS money and haven’t paid.
These calls are SCAMS – it isn’t the IRS calling! That is NOT how the IRS works. They will NEVER take a payment over the phone, or accept iTune cards as payment. That’s right, iTune cards. I was on David Hochberg’s Home Sweet Home Chicago Radio show last week to address these scams. You see, David received a call himself. We had previously addressed this issue on his show, so he knew it was a scam. He played along to see where it led.
Initially, the caller told him she could not help him – it was too late. But, with a little questioning, said she could talk to her supervisor to see if they could resolve the matter without having him arrested. Sure enough! If he went to Walgreens, CVS or Rite Aid and purchased around $3000.00 in gift cards, the “IRS” would not arrest him. The gift cards are also known as, get this, iTune cards! So, the caller told him to call back when he had the iTune cards and read the numbers on the back of the card.
As silly as this sounds, it WORKS. There wouldn’t be the number of scam calls as there are if there weren’t vulnerable taxpayer’s out there falling for it. The ONLY reason the scam works is the public is scared to death of the IRS and will do just about anything to avoid being a target.
Now, on rare occasions the IRS will call taxpayer. But they will NEVER ask for payment in this manner. If you EVER receive a call from the IRS, or someone claiming to be from the IRS, tell them you need to speak with your attorney, then hang up the phone. Immediately call my office for advise. If you need help, we are the firm to help. But, if you don’t, we will let you know that for FREE.
So, if you have ANY IRS questions, Call me, Attorney Steven A. Leahy at 312-664-6649. I am the Chicago IRS Answer Man.