Meriwest Credit Union | 877-MERIWEST (877) 637-4937 | Routing Number 321176833

8:10 AM

IRS Phone Scam Alert: Please Be Cautious!

Published July 22, 2015

If you type "IRS scam" into the Google search bar, you'll find thousands of news articles. No matter where the story is from, the basic facts remain the same: frauds pretending to be IRS representatives have manipulated - and are still manipulating - thousands of people into giving their money or personal information.

Here at Meriwest, several financial service representatives have assisted nervous members who have found themselves threatened (with arrest!) by so-called IRS agents.

We would like to provide some information on the IRS phone scam trend and give you some advice on how to protect yourself. Please take time to read these tips and remember to be careful whenever your personal information or finances are involved!

As noted in an IRS statement published at the beginning of the year, there have been reports of about
290,000 contacts since October 2013 and an awareness of "nearly 3,000 victims who have collectively paid over $14 million as a result" of all these phone scams.

Don't fall victim to these frauds who change their caller ID numbers and create fake names and IRS badge numbers. Here are some red flags to be cautious of.

The IRS says it will NEVER:
  • Call to demand immediate payment, or call about taxes without having first 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
  • Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying
The last point is a scare tactic frauds use to shock you into giving your money or information on the spot. Also remember the IRS doesn't use emails, texts, or social media channels to discuss personal tax issues.

We want all our members to be safe and protected! For more information, you can visit the IRS's Report Phishing and Online Scams page. You can also learn about how to report suspicious tax activity here.

*If you ever feel that your identity or finances have been compromised or need further assistance, please contact us and we will be more than happy to help you. 

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