There is a change from the long standing message that the IRS would not contact taxpayers by phone. President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Nebraska Jim Hegarty says some individuals may be getting legitimate calls if they owe back taxes.
Hegarty says, “The IRS has now hired four private contractors to do actual legitimate collection work for them. Although we’ve been warning that these calls from IRS agents are imposters it is possible you could receive a legitimate calls from one of these entities.
Hegarty says you will first be notified by mail that you may receive a call from an IRS sub-contractor collector. The collectors will want to talk about a plan to pay the back taxes. He says unlike scammers, these callers will be professional and will not demand payment immediately and they want to set up a payment plan. He says all payments will directly be sent to the IRS and you also can request information be sent to you by mail for verification. Most of these calls are aimed and people who owe older, unpaid tax debts.
With that, Hegarty says scammers continue to try every method possible to get your money. He says, “They are calling to say we owe you money and we need to verify you are who we think you are. We need your Social Security number, your grandmother’s maiden name, your mother’s maiden name, all kinds of information. Those are scammers who are trying to get information from you in a different way.” Hegarty says don’t be afraid to hang up if you are uncomfortable with the call.