Phone scams are on the rise. How are you going to handle them?
It’s that time of year again: time to file your taxes as painlessly as possible. As if the stress of compiling a year’s worth of numbers isn’t enough, we’re also faced with the ever-growing tax-related phone scams.
I, for one, have been on the receiving end of robo calls informing me that there’s a warrant out for my arrest for failure to pay back taxes. I never answer a call from an unknown number, but my voicemail now and then contains a recorded threat.
We like to think we’re savvy enough to recognize a bogus call, but the scammers aren’t idiots. While some of their tactics are painfully transparent, others are clever and appear all too real. Step one toward keeping yourself safe:
The easiest way to avoid any type of interaction is by not answering the phone if you don’t recognize the number. (If the caller is someone who legitimately wants to reach you, they’ll leave a message and you can call them back.) If you do happen to pick up a call from an alleged IRS representative, don’t answer any questions and hang up right away. The IRS will never call you out of the blue, since their preferred form of communication is via the mail.
For more information from the IRS on how to handle phone scams, check out this article from Forbes.
Elle Gianforte is an award-winning writer and published author whose work includes non-fiction books on a variety of subjects, including adoption, fashion, food, design, healthcare, and memoir. She is currently co-authoring a new book, Don’t Stop Now, Making the Most of the Rest of Your Life(DontStopNow.us). You can see a complete list of books on her Amazon author page.