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IRS calls and letters: Real or scam?

Posted at 6:59 PM, Sep 16, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-16 21:59:01-04

Scams usually involve calls and emails, so what about an IRS letter?

Scammers have taken $15 million by posing as the Internal Revenue Service and threatening people through phone and email.

And the scam has never been bigger in the Valley.

The scammer usually wants you to pay some outstanding fine or tax money you really don't owe.

If you don't, you're threatened with a big lawsuit or arrest.

The IRS says they never threaten like this, and they communicate issues through the mail, not phone or email.

But Joyce from Gilbert let me know she got an IRS letter and had no tax issues.

She's concerned because it asks for her Social Security information.

It turns out, she may be one of the more than 300,000 people affected with the IRS system was hacked, and the letter explains the protection she is entitled to.

Still, letter or not, if you receive anything from the IRS, question it. Contact them through www.irs.gov and ask before replying to anything.

This scam is just too big, and if you're being harassed by phone, let all calls go to voice mail and just return those that are legit.

Sign up for our monthly scam newsletter. Just put your email in the box on the Let Joe Know homepage.

Need my help? Call the Assistance League of Phoenix volunteers at 1-855-323-1515. You can also send me an email, or a video email where you attach a video explaining the problem.

And you can reach me on Twitter or "like" the Let Joe Know Facebook page and tell me about it there.

AND WE NEED YOUR HELP!  If you want to be a volunteer and help other consumers, let me know.