Mark Ford

From Bob Irish in the Wealth Builders Club: Charlotte, North Carolina, preacher Al Cadenhead was driving to work when he noticed a voicemail on his cellphone… from the legal department of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The caller said to contact her immediately, which he did.

A representative said he’d been audited. There were some serious errors on his returns. That, and the IRS issued a warrant for his arrest.

The IRS was charging him with tax fraud, placing a lien on his house, freezing his accounts, and alerting the media.

After a six-hour ordeal of going back and forth with “the IRS” on the phone, Cadenhead transferred $16,000 to what turned out to be scam artists. And he was hardly alone. This scam has netted thieves $26.5 million in just the last 2.5 years.

Here’s what makes these calls so convincing: The scammers seem to have information that only the IRS would know about you.

According to the IRS, here are five things scammers do that the IRS never does. If you hear these claims, hang up the phone immediately.

The IRS will never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment. Nor will the agency call about taxes owed without having first mailed you a bill.
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount it says 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.