How you can tell it’s an IRS phone scam

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, demanding that you pay thousands of dollars in taxes you owe — it could be a scam.

Authorities in Virginia Beach are warning residents to watch out for a scam like this happening at the moment in the city.

Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney Colin Stolle said in a Facebook post Tuesday that scammers are calling or leaving a voicemail about a lawsuit involving your taxes. They will also call and say, “the IRS has issued a warrant for your arrest due to not paying your taxes.”

Stolle says the scammers sound like official IRS representatives — providing their names and sometimes their badge numbers. These scammers will also verify your name, phone number and address.

The supposed IRS reps will say the call is being recorded, and that the IRS found a miscalculation after completing an audit of five years worth of your taxes. However, if you ask, they’ll say they do not have paperwork of these miscalculations.

Stolle says this representative will also claim they can get approval from an IRS “official supervisor” to prevent an arrest warrant in your name. The only way to not get arrested is to pay the thousands of dollars the scammers are requesting.

According to Stolle, one scare tactic being employed by the scammers if threatening to add $25,000 to what you supposedly owe if you don’t pay that day.

Here are some tell-tale signs of an IRS scam, according to Stolle:

  • If someone calls you demanding immediate payment, but you didn’t get a bill in the mail.
  • If someone calls you asking you to pay your taxes, without giving you an opportunity to appeal.
  • If they ask you to pay with a prepaid debit card, or if they ask for credit and debit card information over the phone.
  • And finally, you know it’s a scam if they threaten to involve any type of law enforcement.

If you get this kind of call or voicemail, report it to the police.