I received a fake IRS phone call this morning and I had to smile because I was pulling into the driveway of a client for an IRS audit. If they had called 10 minutes later, I could’ve handed the phone to a real IRS agent.
The person on the phone call stated – This is Joe Smith from the IRS and I am calling because the IRS has filed a lawsuit against you. I hung up the phone at that point and I thought I would share how I knew it was a fake.
First, IRS agents are required to identify themselves, both by their name AND ID number. The fact that they left out their number was a red flag.
Also, you will get numerous computer-generated letters, including several certified letters from the IRS before they even assign a case to a real person. The fact that I had not received any correspondence was another red flag. And let me add here the importance of keeping your address up-to-date with the IRS and notifying them of any change of address.
Finally, the statement that the IRS has filed a lawsuit against me was ridiculous. For the most part, the IRS does not file lawsuits unless there is criminal activity. And, I promise you, you would have had many meetings with the IRS prior to them commencing any lawsuit. What the IRS may do is file a lien against your property or a levy against your wages or bank account.
The bottom line is if you ever get a phone call from the IRS and you have not had any prior contact, it is probably a fraud. If they tell you they are sending a Marshall to arrest you if you don’t pay, that doesn’t happen. My recommendation, if you there may be some validity to it, ask them what address they have on file for you and then ask them to mail you a copy of the IRS notice and you will respond within two weeks. If they start getting aggressive, hang up.
You may also want to ask for their supervisors information, so you can call them back, but I’ve heard that they will normally give you someone else connected with them who acts like a supervisor.