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Newport News Now

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Newport News Now is a daily e-newsletter that launched in March 2016. Articles that ran in our newsletter between March 2016 and March 2018 are available on these pages. Newsletters produced beginning in April 2018 can be viewed on our new daily newsletter page.

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Mar 03

Tax Season Brings Out the IRS Scams

Posted on March 3, 2017 at 8:19 AM by Communications Department

As the 2017 tax season approaches, IRS scammers will likely increase their antics and frequency in attempting to dupe people out of their money. IRS Scam_SC According to the IRS it is fairly easy to spot a fake IRS call. Listed below are five things the scammers often do but the IRS will not do. Any one of these five things is a tell-tale sign of a scam. The IRS will never:
• Call to demand immediate payment, nor will they call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill;
• Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe;
• Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card;
• Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone; or
• Threaten to bring in local police, Sheriff, or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, here’s what you should do:
• If you know you owe taxes or think you may owe, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. The IRS workers can help you with a payment issue.
• If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to believe that you do, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1-800-366-4484 or at www.tigta.gov.
• You can file a complaint using the FTC Complaint Assistant; choose “Other” and then “Imposter Scams.” If the complaint involves someone impersonating the IRS, include the words “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.

As urgent as the scammer may make the call sound, slow down, think the entire situation through and make logical decisions that are not driven by fear or intimidation.