I have warned you for years about IRS impostor scams which generally involve a phone call, email or text message purporting to be from the IRS in which you are threatened with severe consequences if you do not immediately make a payment to the scammer/IRS agent.  Often the scammer requires the money to be paid by gift cards which is a dead giveaway that you are involved with a scammer because the IRS does not take payments through gift cards under any circumstances.

I have often told you that it is easy to determine whether or not the email, robocall, regular phone call or text message is from the IRS because the IRS never initiates contact with people through email, robocalls, regular phone calls or text messages so any such communication you receive is a scam.  Even if your Caller ID indicates that the call is coming from the IRS, it is a simple matter for a scammer to “spoof” a call to you and manipulate your Caller ID so that it appears that the call is coming from the IRS when it is really coming from a scammer.  Now, however, the IRS has indicated that over the next two months it will be sending IRS agents unannounced to the homes of people with incomes of more than $100,000 per year who have not filed income tax returns to discuss their tax filing and payment obligations.  This is going to present a tremendous opportunity for scammers to trick people into paying the phony IRS agent.

TIPS

So how can you determine if that person showing up at your door is really an IRS agent?

Real IRS agents involved with this new program will provide two forms of identification with a serial number and a photo, however, skilled scammers will be undoubtedly able to falsify such documentation.  It is also important to know that the IRS will first contact the people who they are targeting in this new enforcement effort by repeated regular mail letters before coming to someone’s home.  Ultimately, however, if you are contacted  in person by someone purporting to be from the IRS attempting to inform you of your obligation or collect a tax payment, you cannot be sure that the person really is an IRS agent, so you should not provide them with any personal information or make a payment to them in any form.  Rather, if you think they may be real IRS employees, you can contact the IRS by phone and discuss your case with someone that you can be confident is a real IRS agent.  You can contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.  Here is a link to the IRS’ website which provides information about contacting the IRS by phone and the information you need to provide.  https://www.irs.gov/help/telephone-assistance

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