With tax season coming closer to an end (May 17th is the new deadline) we often see increases in scams that involve the IRS and unpaid taxes.
The criminal will typically contact you over the phone, this can be a live person or a recording telling you to call a number for more information. They will threaten will claims of fines, warrants, and legal action often using fancy legal terms or case numbers, due to the unpaid taxes from prior years. They will threaten immediate arrest by local law enforcement unless payments are made immediately.
While they will typically ask for gift cards to pay these fines, victims have reported back by other means, such as mailing cash or money orders, or wiring money.
If they send you out for gift cards, often they demand to stay on the phone with you through the entire process. Once you give them the information from the cards, the funds are quickly used or removed, and the money is almost impossible to get back.
The IRS will not contact you on the phone over unpaid taxes. They will always send you a letter in the mail. They will never ask for gift cards or to wire money. They will never threaten arrest.
If you receive a call from someone claiming to be with the IRS, please hang up and report it immediately.