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The Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability warns older Tennesseans to be aware of IRS scams

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The Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability reminds seniors to guard against fraudulent financial scams that arise around taxes. 

These scams usually consist of aggressive and threatening phone calls by individuals impersonating the Internal Revenue Service. These scam artists threaten police arrest, excessive fines, license revocation and other things. One of the more typical variations to this scam involves the caller indicating that payment is owed to the United States Government and threatening the senior with arrest or court action to trick them into making the payment. In addition to threats, another variation of this scam includes claiming that the senior is entitled to a huge refund and then requesting bank account information.

If you are not sure of how to handle the call, tell the caller that you must confirm your records and that you will have to call them back. Do not be intimidated! You can call the State of Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability at 1-866-836-6678 and they can help you. 

Scammers often alter caller ID numbers to make it look like the IRS or another agency is calling. The callers use IRS titles and fake badge numbers to appear legitimate. They may use the victim’s name, address and other personal information to make the call sound official.

Here are five things the scammers often do but the IRS will not do. Any one of these five things is a tell-tale sign of a scam. The IRS will never:

  •  Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
  •  Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.  

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, here is what you should do:

If you don’t owe taxes, or have no reason to think that you do:

  •  Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
  •  Contact TIGTA to report the call. Use their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page. You can also call 800-366-4484.  
  • Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov.

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