If you can remember that, you likely won't be a victim of a tax scam.

Oh, one more thing:  THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT DOESN'T EMAIL YOU ASKING FOR MONEY, EITHER.

Ok, so if you know those TWO things -- you probably won't be a victim.  Just this week, the Associated Press and other major news organizations have been posting stories about increases in people posing as employees of the IRS and trying to steal money.

The funny thing is . . . the IRS posted that information in October, 2013.  With tax deadlines approaching, scammers are increasing their efforts to get your money.

One of the most common scams is a phone call.  The person claims to be an IRS agent.  They even will give you a badge number.  They tell you the IRS is owed money and if it is not paid in x days, you will be arrested or deported or your driver's license revoked.

BUT, it's not that easy.  These scammers are sophisticated.  In some cases, they will have obtained pieces of info from you (think the massive Target hack) like the last 4 digits of your social security number.  They will recite that to you to make you feel as if it is legitimate.  They even have technology to fool your caller ID into saying the IRS is calling.

So, here are some easy ways to protect yourself:

1.  Never click a link or call a number if you've received an email about something.  Scammers will often build entire websites to look like your bank, the federal government or others.

2.  If someone calls your house to ask for money -- hang up.  You can report it to authorities but do NOT try to catch, apprehend or trap the person on the other end.  If you think it might be legit, then find your latest statement (if it is a credit card company) or look up the number for the organization -- and call them directly.

3.  The IRS has some info, too, to help you navigate the truth and the lie:

  • If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS employees at that line can help you with a payment issue – if there really is such an issue.
  • If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes (for example, you’ve never received a bill or the caller made some bogus threats as described above), then call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1.800.366.4484.
  • If you’ve been targeted by this scam, you should also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at FTC.gov.  Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments of your complaint.

Taxpayers should be aware that there are other unrelated scams (such as a lottery sweepstakes) and solicitations (such as debt relief) that fraudulently claim to be from the IRS.

Get More info on this scam by clicking this link to the IRS Website.

Get More info on other scams you need to avoid by clicking this link to the IRS website.