Identifying Scammers: The IRS Doesn't Make Phone Calls

April 15th is fast approaching and that means that telephone scammers are out in force trying to scare you into giving them money, or worse, enough personal information to steal your identity. Generally speaking, whether a phone call is a scam can be hard to determine. Not so when it comes to IRS impersonators!

NPR reported, straight from IRS Commissioner John Koskinen's mouth, that if a caller claims to be from the IRS, they aren't:

"If you are surprised to be hearing from us, you are not hearing from us," Koskinen said. "Our way of contacting you is by letter."

He went on to say that the IRS will never call you to threaten you for not paying your taxes:

"The last thing you'll ever hear from an IRS agent of any kind is threats that we are about to throw you in jail unless you pay us immediately or put money into a particular account," he said.

So remember, even if they know your name, your telephone number, and the last four digits of your Social Security Number, it's not the IRS calling you. The IRS has made it easy for you. Be sure to tell your friends and family members, especially if they are elderly.