We've often cautioned in the past that the IRS does not use email or the telephone to tell taxpayers they owe the government money. But now there's a scam using the US Postal Service with the same intent — to steal your money.
According to the Fraud Watch Network, here's how it works:
Your receive an official-looking letter from the IRS saying you owe taxes related to the Affordable Care Act. The notice is labeled CP2000 for tax year 2015. The letter instructs you to send the payment to the "IRS" care of an Austin,Texas post office box.
You should know that the IRS issues a notice under CP2000 when income or payment information doesn't match the information reported on your tax return. A legitimate notice will provide a number for you to call and a way to resolve the issue. And payment would not be to the "IRS," but to the US Department of the Treasury. If you get a notice like this and doubt its integrity, contact the IRS at 1-800-366-4484.
You might find this same kind of scam used via email. If you should get such an email, delete it immediately. As noted earlier, the IRS will not reach out to you by email nor will they call demanding payment. You should report that contact to the Federal Trade Commission's complaint center.
If you receive the fake IRS letter, report it on the Fraud Watch Network's scam-tracking map or call the AARP Foundation Fraud Fighter Center at 877-908-3360.
Beau Weisman, Editor