You may have heard that scammers have been calling people claiming to be from the IRS. You may have even received such a call. I have received at least two voice mail messages of this nature. The caller says you owe money to the IRS for unpaid taxes. The caller then threatens you with arrest, jail or other dire consequences unless you pay your “tax bill” immediately via credit card, debit card or direct withdrawal from your bank account. The caller may even lower the amount they will take based on the amount you say you have available to pay them.

The threatening phone calls are continuing. But, the scammers are getting more sophisticated, and they are changing their IRS scam tactics.

New IRS Scam Tactics

Some scammers have now started sending phony tax bills on what purports to be official IRS letterhead. The scammers appear to be trying to take advantage of the fact that the IRS tells taxpayers that it communicates in writing.

In a slightly different approach, the scammers are also sending out e-mails from false websites that contain “IRS” in the web address. But, remember, the IRS does not communicate to taxpayers about outstanding taxes by email.

As always, you should be vigilant and wary and know your own tax situation. If you are working with a tax professional to resolve your tax issues, you should always provide your attorney with all the particulars. If you just receive a mailing or a voice mail message and are not sure what you should do, contact a professional for guidance or call the IRS at a published number for more information about the specifics of your situation.