On Your Side: Watch out for fake messages from IRS

On Your Side: Watch out for fake messages from IRS

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Many viewers call NBC12 asking about suspicious phone calls or emails claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service, and crooks are becoming more and more convincing.

Most times, the caller claims there has been a problem and you need to pay right way. It's not just the phone calls, either. Sometimes these alerts show up in your email. Regardless of which method used, the IRS says these notifications are not from them.

The agency has posted warnings on its website alerting taxpayers about the deceptions. Bottom line, these crooks after your personal information, your cash or both.

If you fall for it, not only will you be out of your money but these criminals can use your information to file a fraudulent tax return in your name. Security experts say keeping some simple tips in mind can keep you safe.

Cyber expert Theresa Payton said, "The IRS has committed they will never call or email you about a problem tax return. They will always send you something via USPS. If you get a threatening phone call or email, hang up Delete the email and call the IRS to validate. Never give out personal info or payment info over the phone."

Also, keep in mind the IRS will never require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes such as a prepaid debit card. It will also never threaten to have you arrested for not paying your taxes. If you think someone is using your information to file a false tax return, the first step is to report the crime to the police and the IRS.

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