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Protect yourself against scammers

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Washington, June 30, 2017 | comments

In the digital age, we are all at risk of online scams that seek to steal personal information.

One of the most common scams uses the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to steal information. In fact, many taxpayers have encountered individuals impersonating IRS officials-either in person, on the phone, or via email-that directly ask for this information, many times targeting senior citizens. Don’t let yourself get scammed!

Check out the information below to keep yourself, and your personal information, safe.

Always remember, the IRS and its authorized private collection agencies will never:

1. Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. The IRS does not use these methods for tax payments. Generally, the IRS will first mail a bill to any taxpayer who owes taxes. All tax payments should only be made payable to the U.S. Treasury and checks should never be made payable to third parties.

2. Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying.

3. Demand that taxes be paid without giving the taxpayer the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.

4. Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

If you know you owe, or think you may owe taxes:
• Call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you.
To report a scam, hang up immediately-then:
• Contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration to report the call. Or use their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page. You can also call 800-366-4484.
I also want to warn you against a new scam, where scammers are now telling people over the phone they were mailed certified notices that were returned because the scammers recognize we are telling taxpayers that IRS will not call before mailing letters. During the call, the scammer threatens arrest. Please know that the first contact you receive from IRS will not be through a random, threatening phone call. Check out this full press release for the details.

Please use this information to keep yourself and your family safe. Even though tax season is over, predators are still looking to scam innocent taxpayers like us.

It’s an honor to serve you in the People’s House.


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