TAX COLLECTOR ON THE PHONE? HANG UP, BECAUSE IT’S A SCAM

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Taxpayers beware: Giving your personal or financial information to the wrong caller could mean money lost forever.

The Alabama Department of Revenue wants taxpayers aware of phone scam trickery that could catch you unaware any time of year.

Public Information Manager Frank Miles said scammers call potential victims posing as the IRS or another governmental agency.

“We got word from our taxpayer service center in Huntsville that a local accountant called him to verify his client wasn’t behind on their taxes,” Miles said. “The reason why he made that call, was because that taxpayer got a call from someone claiming to be with the Department of Revenue.”

Miles said the caller told the taxpayer they were behind on taxes, and said the balance must be paid immediately.

“When the taxpayer asked what kind of taxes were due, the caller couldn’t tell him,” Miles said. “So the taxpayer hung up and wisely called his accountant.”

The Department of Revenue never asks for immediate payment, Miles said.

“We just want to remind all taxpayers in Alabama that the Alabama Department of Revenue is not going to make a threatening phone call to you to pay your balance immediately,” Miles said. “We are not going to ask you for any credit card numbers, we are not going to ask you to put money on a debit card or anything like that.”

If the Department of Revenue has business with you, they’ll send a letter, Miles said.

According to the revenue department, they will never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment, nor call about taxes owed without first making multiple attempts to contact the taxpayer by mail.
  • Demand that someone pay taxes without offering the opportunity to question or appeal the amount claimed to be owed.
  • Require taxpayers to use a specific payment method for taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Threaten immediate arrest over the phone of taxpayers for not paying.

If you are concerned a phone call may be legitimate:

  • Do not give out any personal information
  • Hang up immediately, and call the Alabama Department of Revenue at 334-242-3012.
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