Is it the IRS, or a scam? Government issues fraud warnings
Joyce M. Rosenberg
The summer is high season for thieves claiming to be from the IRS and hoping to scam people out of their money.
That warning comes from the IRS, which notes that scammers use phone calls, emails and even in-person visits to try and scare people into turning over funds.
Scammers go after small businesses as well as individual taxpayers. And they tend to strike in the summer because it’s just a few months after most people have filed their income tax returns, and when people can expect to hear from the IRS if the agency has a question about a return or if tax and/or penalties are owed.
But the government generally doesn’t start communicating with a taxpayer via email or phone calls, and IRS agents don’t show up at your business or home out of the blue. As the agency spells out on its website www.irs.gov: “The IRS initiates most contacts through regular mail delivered by the United States Postal Service.”
Unless you’ve already been contacted by the IRS, and agreed that phone calls or emails are acceptable, it’s probably not the government you’re hearing from.
More dependence on cellphones has brought an increase in robocalls from scammers, with recorded messages, sometimes delivered in a loud, threatening tone and with scary-sounded…