I.R.S.: Watch Out For Tax Scams

As we head into tax season, The Internal Revenue Service (I.R.S.) is asking everyone to be extremely careful.

"Tax season tends to bring out scam season as well," said Raphael Tulino, I.R.S. Spokesperson for Nevada.

They say scammers often pose as one of their agents demanding money or personal information, like social security number and bank account information.

"Threatening them with arrest, or telling them they have to go out and pay taxes on a pre-paid debit card, and really get kind of nasty," Tulino said.

The problem has already surfaced this year. One of our viewers told us he received one of these calls. So, we decided to call the number he gave us to see if we can possibly get a comment, and a woman's voice with a heavy accent immediately came up on an answering machine.

"Thank you for calling the Department of Legal Affairs of the U.S. Treasury. Currently, we are unavailable, so please leave a message after the beep."

After doing a quick search on the internet, the number appears to be out of Lakewood, California, and several people online have received a call from the same number from someone demanding money and threatening legal action.

But, the I.R.S. says if you ever get a call from them, it should not be a surprise. They start by sending mail that would have official I.R.S. markings, and if you don't respond to that, then you'll get a call down the road, but even then, there are safeguards.

"You're going to get somebody who's going to give you the badge number and be very official and such," Tulino said. "Even then, if you're weary, you can take down their phone number and call them back."

The I.R.S. has been investigating these phone scams since at least 2013. They say if you get a threatening call, hang up, and report it immediately.

If you've received a call or e-mail that you think may be a scam, head to the website of the Treasury Inspector General For Tax Administration.