Metro Detroit authorities warn of IRS phone scams

Posted at 5:42 AM, Mar 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-12 05:42:55-04

(WXYZ) — The Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office is reminding residents to be aware of potential IRS phone scams.

Authorities say IRS imposters may attempt to take advantage of those awaiting a refund or paying off a tax bill.

Your first contact with the IRS will not be an unexpected call from an IRS agent, but through official correspondence sent through the mail. A red flag for scams are threatening, angry calls from people who say they are from the IRS or your local police agency and they demand immediate payment.

The IRS will not do the following:

  • Call you to demand immediate payment
  • Call you if you owe taxes without first sending you a bill in the mail
  • Demand that you pay taxes and not allow you to question or appeal the amount you owe
  • Require that you pay your taxes a certain way. For instance, require that you pay with a prepaid debit card
  • Ask for your credit or debit card numbers over the phone
  • Threaten to bring in police or other agencies to arrest you for not paying

Additionally, beware of scammers calling under the guise of verifying your tax return information over the phone.

If you think you've received a phone call from a scammer, call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484 or online here.