RENO, Nev (KOLO) If you got a call saying, "I am sending the cops to your doorstep" or “I am calling regarding an enforcement action, executed by the US Treasury, intending your serious attention," you would probably pay attention.
Licensed tax preparer Teresa Grant-Decal says her parents got such a call not too long ago.
“Teresa, I just got called by the IRS. I mean, they have Social Security; they don't even file taxes. And I am like, Mom it is a scam,” says Grant-Decal.
Grant says the bogus calls used to happen during tax season.
Now they are happening all year long. The predators are using land lines, cell phones, and email letting you know you owe the IRS money.
“And that you need to immediately go and get a prepaid debit card. Or they want to get your financial information so they can debit your account,” says Grant-Decal.
The licensed tax preparer with 17 years of experience, who has worked out problems with the IRS, says the federal agency would never work that way. Any correspondence including the initial contact will always be done by mail.
As a matter of fact, she says in a majority of cases, they won't allow you to contact them by a computer.
Second, she says there is something called due process. The IRS and you and your tax preparer or lawyer have to tease a case out---it can take months or even years to determine what is or isn't owed.
As far as sending police out to arrest you?
“That would never happen,” says Grant-Decal.
The best advice hang up, don't return the call, and tell your friends to do the same.