Avoid telephone IRS scams

You have probably heard of this scam before: a con artist calls up potential victims, claiming to be an IRS agent and demanding immediate payment of a supposed tax bill. Perhaps you have even received one of these scam calls yourself.

As we said in this blog recently, real IRS agents rarely initiate contact with taxpayers over the phone. But scammers like to prey on the fears of the uninformed. In some parts of the country, they are using technology to further disguise themselves and scare people into thinking they are getting threatened by the police.

ClickOnDetroit.com reports that people in Michigan are getting calls from what appears to be their local police department when they check their caller ID. In fact, authorities say, scammers are using technology to make it appear they are calling from the police station, a trick known as "spoofing."

For those in Maryland, if you ever get a suspicious call, your first move is not to answer it. But if you do answer and the caller demands immediate payment or sensitive information for a supposed tax bill, resist being manipulated out of fear. If the call seems possibly legit, look into the matter by hanging up and calling the IRS. Don't use the number the caller gives you, which will just lead you back to the scammers.

If the real IRS contacts you, you may need a tax attorney to help you reach a fair resolution. Taxpayers have rights, and need a lawyer to help them to work with the IRS.

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