SAVANNAH, Ga (WSAV) – April 15 is the last day for Americans to file their tax returns or request for an extension. It’s also the start of a peak period of time when the scammers come out in full force.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, scammers will impersonate IRS employees and take advantage of taxpayers anxiety during the tax period. The FTC warns taxpayers that they may receive frightening calls or emails. The caller tells you that you owe them money, you may be arrested if you don’t pay them immediately and to wire them money. The caller may also request PIN numbers, passwords or similar access information for credit cards, banks or other financial accounts.
The IRS warns it’s all a trap. The agency will never initiate contact through phone, email or social media. Neither will the IRS ask you to pay with a prepaid debit card or a money transfer.
If you receive a call, here’s what you should do according to the FTC:
- Don’t give the caller any personal or financial information
- Write down the details of the call
- Hang up
- Contact the IRS directly at irs.gov if you’re concerned the call is real
- File a complaint with the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint or with the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at tigta.gov
- Warn friends and family
The IRS estimated that it will receive more than 14.6 million extension requests in 2019 or nearly 1 in 10 filers. According to the IRS, that would be the largest number of requests they have ever received in a year.