Attorney general says beware IRS phone scams

This time of year is when people are preparing their taxes, and scammers claiming to be from the IRS are preparing to call and trick people into sending them money.

“National Tax Security Awareness Week” ends Saturday, and officials are telling taxpayers to be vigilant when they get a phone call claiming to be from the IRS. These scams will sound real, saying that they’re owed back taxes and will send police if you don’t send them money immediately. Attorney General Lisa Madigan said the best thing you can do is hang up.

“Get off the phone. If you are scared that you might owe taxes to the IRS, call a real IRS phone number,” Madigan said.

IRS phone scams are one of the most common that Madigan hears about. “When I am out and about, people are constantly stopping me and saying that they’ve gotten a phone call.”

Hundreds were arrested in October for taking part in an international phone scheme in which callers claimed to be with the IRS. They reportedly scammed taxpayers out of more than $300 million.

Madigan said the threat of someone using your identity to get a tax return is also common.

“It can be a time-consuming and aggravating and worrying situation,” Madigan said.

She said the process for fixing tax-return fraud can take up to six months.

–Illinois News Network

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