With tax season approaching, the IRS is exposing a new voicemail scam in which criminals are posing as the IRS.
This is a voicemail message prompting a taxpayer to call an 800 number to pay a debt to the IRS. If not, they will be sued. The problem is, the message isn't from the IRS at all.
Mark Green is with the IRS. He says his agency contacts people by phone in rare instances - but never to collect money or personal information.
"We will not call individuals harassing them, telling them that they owe money immediately, and if they don't pay they will be sued or we will lock them up. We don't operate like that. Generally when we call, we have information for you. We're not requesting information such as your social security number, your checking or savings account information, that type of thing. You simply should just hang up. That's the bottom line," says Green.
Green says people should also be cautious when dealing with tax preparers and make sure they are credible and trustworthy.
"Choose very carefully who you choose as a tax preparer. Choose one who's credible, knowledgeable, accountable, and most importantly make sure that individual has a prepared tax identification number. In other words, that they have registered with the Internal Revenue Service," Green says.
Green says targets for the voicemail scam are college students and the elderly. Any suspicious encounters or activities should be reported to the IRS.