Worried about fake IRS letters? Here's how to tell the difference

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Scammers are now sending letters pretending to be the IRS and demanding money. 

There have been countless cases of scammers calling or sending emails demanding money, but letters are causing greater concern.  

While the IRS will never call or send an email demanding money, they will send mail. 

“Letters are the official way that the IRS will make contact with an individual to let them know there is an issue with their tax account. So you have to be careful with that, now that we know that this fraud is going on," said CPA Lydia Desnoyers. "It doesn’t mean when you get a letter you should just toss it out. You should still open it to find out if it’s a real letter from the IRS or not."

Here are some easy identifiers to find out if the mail is real. 

Real IRS letters have a notice number or letter number on either the top or bottom right-hand corner of the letter. If you can’t find it, it’s more than likely a fake. 

Now if you do find the numbers, call the IRS and ask them to verify it. 

Just remember, the IRS will NOT:\

  • Ask for debit, credit card, or gift card numbers over the phone
  • Demand immediate payment
  • Threaten to bring in local police, immigration officers or other law enforcement agencies to arrest people 

The IRS will always give you payment options.

The easiest way for you to be sure a letter is real is to visit IRS.gov/payments and check your tax account.

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