Don't fall for bogus phone calls from the IRS demanding money

Just when you thought the worries of tax season were behind you another concern raises its ugly head.  I have recently received several calls from clients and others asking about calls they have received from someone claiming to represent the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The callers use demanding and even threatening language in an effort to coerce people to make an immediate payment over the phone with a credit card. Some callers even demand the person obtain a debit card from Wal-Mart and call them back with the number! Truly bold actions, but you’d be surprised how many folks are falling for this scam. The thought of receiving a call from the IRS is intimidating in itself to most people.

Many may be susceptible to such scams because they may owe the tax agencies money or may not have filed their taxes in a year or three. Readers, let me assure you the IRS and California Franchise Tax Board will not call you out of the blue demanding money.

If the IRS does have to contact you, the first form of contact will be a letter through the U.S. mail service (not even special delivery). It will likely take a while (several years, in some cases) and many letters before they ever get around to calling you. When they do, you probably won’t be surprised.

I tell my clients if they receive a call to give the caller my number and tell them to “talk to my tax man.”  Don’t answer any questions. If the questions are legitimate they should already know the information they are requesting. Hang up and seek professional advice. You may also receive a text or email from similar scammers. The important thing to remember in that case is do not click on any links. 

If you have fallen prey to this and lost money, notify the police immediately. Along with your money these scams are designed to steal your identity and possibly file future taxes or open accounts with your information.

Allen Franklin is the sole proprietor at Allen Franklin’s Mobile Tax Service since 1998. He is also a retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer and retired Naval Science Instructor from Lemoore High School. He can be reached at (559) 589-1520 or

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