Tax season is just starting, and the fraud is in full force. Don’t fall prey to those who try to take advantage of you. The most recent examples involve a phone call telling you that the caller is with the IRS and they are going to issue an arrest warrant, or have you arrested unless you pay your taxes immediately. They then tell you that they can take the payment over the phone with your bank account number. It is an obvious fraud, but we have received several calls from our clients asking for advice and very scared of the phone call.
Follow these simple rules:
1. NEVER give your bank information, credit card number, or social security number to someone who calls you. EVER! No exceptions. If the IRS or any other collection agency is trying to collect they will notify you, IN WRITING, of the debt.
2. DON’T EVER ENGAGE THE CALLER. The best thing is just to hang up and don’t discuss anything with a caller asking for private information.
3. Don’t let anyone on the phone trick you because they have your address, or know your first name, or know things about you. They can get all of the information very easily.
4. If you have a smartphone get yourself the TrueCaller app at www.truecaller.com. It is an excellent toll to help with fraud calls.
5. Put all of your phones on the Do Not Call Registry located at /www.donotcall.gov/ . This will help avoid your number being placed on automatic call lists. If your number is easily available, it is easier for criminals to get it.
Finally, just use common sense. If the IRS was going to arrest you, they are not going to call you before they come. There is never any reason to give any private information over the phone to anyone who calls you asking for it. If you have any doubt call regarding fraud, theft, or other crimes our experience in criminal defense is valuable. Call our Tampa, Florida office for a free consultation at 813-259-1017 and we will be glad to speak with you.
You can read more from the IRS by clicking this link.