ATTENTION: The IRS may be calling you

If you owe taxes, you may hear from a private collection firm contacting you on the IRS' behalf.

For years, you've been told the IRS will never call you, but that is changing.

The IRS is now working with third party debt collectors, who may be giving you a call on behalf of the IRS. 

So how can you tell whether the person calling you is legitimate or a scammer? Ask the following questions:

1. Is the person calling from one these four private-collection firms? 

- CBE Group of Cedar Falls, IA

- Conserve of Fairport, NY

- Performant of Livermore, CA

- Pioneer of Horseheads, NY

The IRS is only working with these four private-collection agencies. If one of them isn't on the other line, hang up. 

2. Did you get a letter first? 

The IRS will always send you a letter notifying you that one of the above firms will be contacting you. Then, that firm will send you a second letter, before finally contacting you by phone. If you have someone calling you before you get a letter or are notified, it's a scam. 

3. Are they pushy? 

The IRS never uses strong-arm tactics, and neither will the agencies they work with. Therefore, if they are being pushy or threatening you, hang up. 

The IRS will also, never ask you to pay a debt by pre-paid debit or iTunes cards. 

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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