It's tax season which, unfortunately, means it's also scam season. In 2022, impostor scams cost consumers a staggering $2.6 billion, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Among the most persistent scams is the IRS impostor scam, making tax season an especially important time to raise awareness of this issue.
IRS scam calls can be incredibly convincing. Scammers will often spoof their phone numbers to make it look like the call is coming from the IRS, and they will use high-pressure tactics to get you to give them money or personal information. They may tell you that you owe back taxes and threaten you with arrest or legal action if you don't pay immediately. They may also claim that you are due a refund and ask for your bank account information to deposit it.
These IRS scammers are experts at manipulating their victims, and they know just what to say to make people believe them. If you fall for one of these scams, you could end up losing money or having your identity stolen.
So how can you protect yourself from IRS scam calls? Here are a few tips:
Know that the IRS will never call you out of the blue. If you owe back taxes or are due a refund, the IRS will send you a letter in the mail first.
Be wary of any calls that threaten you with arrest or legal action. The IRS does not use these tactics to collect taxes.
Don't give out personal information over the phone, even if the person claims to be from the IRS. The IRS will never ask for your social security number, bank account information, or other sensitive information over the phone.
If you're not sure if a call is legitimate, hang up and call the IRS directly. You can verify if the call was from the IRS by calling their toll-free number at 1-800-829-1040.
Block or report any suspicious calls or numbers. You can also sign up for the National Do Not Call Registry to help reduce the number of unsolicited calls you receive.
Use a call blocker app, like Genie, to protect yourself from scams like these.
How the Genie app works to protect you from scam calls:
Genie is a mobile app that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to block scam calls and protect users from fraudulent activity. One useful feature of Genie is its ability to provide a real-time assessment of incoming calls. When a call comes in, the app analyzes the call in real-time and provides a risk score, indicating the likelihood that the call is a scam. If the risk score is high, the app will automatically block the call.
Genie also allows users to create custom blocklists, so they can block specific phone numbers or area codes known to be associated with scam calls. Additionally, the app can automatically block calls from international numbers, which are often used by scammers to hide their true location.
By using Genie to block scam calls, users can reduce the risk of falling victim to fraud and protect their personal information. The app is easy to use and can be a great solution for anyone looking to stay safe from these types of scams.
By following these tips, you can help protect yourself from the dangers of IRS scam calls. Remember, the IRS will never call you out of the blue, and they will never threaten you with arrest or legal action. If you receive a suspicious call, hang up and call the IRS directly to verify its legitimacy. Stay vigilant and protect yourself from these dangerous scams.