(this should go on my business page: IanHarpercpa.com, but I'm having an issue with it, and wanted to get this out today)
This morning, I walked into my office to find a message from a client. She had been contacted by a Michael Johnson (purportedly) of the IRS. He had left a callback number: 951-223-6693.
So, I called (already suspecting it was a scam - I'll tell you why in a second). Mr. Johnson answered immediately (hahahaha; no hold! No "your call is very important to us, please wait an hour" hahahaha). Mr. Johnson started telling me that my client is under investigation, and asked "do you have an attorney, does your client have an attorney?"
I asked Mr. Johnson what his ID# was, and he immediately rattled off a string of numbers, not in the correct format or correct amount of numbers that I'm used to hearing when I speak with IRS representatives. I asked Mr. Johnson about the format of his ID#, and of course, he immediately hung up.
What I didn't have time to ask Mr. Johnson was:
Why am I dialing a toll line in
? (The IRS always uses toll-free callback
numbers.) - this is how I knew immediately that this deal was not on the up and
up. Riverside, California
Why has my client not received any official correspondence? (I've never seen a case that didn't start with either reams of official mail correspondence, or an ID flashing IRS agent showing up, in person, to a taxpayers office or home.)
Why did you not immediately verify my CAF number? (CAF stands for Centralized Authorization File, a database that holds practitioner's information and authorizations to discuss tax matters about the taxpayer in question.)
The guy did some other things wrong that I won't get into right now.
The point of this post: People are always trying to scam you. Be careful!!
If you are not absolutely sure that you are talking with a legitimate IRS representative, either give me a call ((423-479-3007), thank you very much), or hang up and call the IRS yourself. (800-829-1040 is the general number, but they can send you to the right department or at least tell you if there is an issue with your account.)
Also, the IRS does not correspond with you via email. They just don't. If you get an email from them, delete it. (it probably has a zip file attached to it that will corrupt your data or steal your personal info.)
Again, give me a call if I can help.