Tax season is upon us, so it's time to be on high alert for scammers. The City of Kentwood is warning about a tax-related phone scam that's been reported in the area.

How the 'Past-Due Tax Scam' Works

The scammer calls the victim and pretends to be a City employee. They tell the victim they have overdue taxes and request the the taxpayer’s debit or credit card information to make the payment.

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The City of Kentwood says to be clear, these calls are fraudulent. They say they will never call residents to to request payment over the phone.

What To Do If You Get a Scam Call Like This

If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from the City and demanding payment for past due taxes, hang up. Do not provide payment or give them any personal information. If you have questions about your taxes, contact the Kentwood Treasurer’s Office directly at 616-554-0761.

Why Is Tax Season Prime Time for Scammers?

According to Lifelock,

Criminals know that filing taxes can be complicated and that stressed consumers may be more likely to fall for phishing scams in which scammers trick them into giving up their personal and financial information.

They know, too, that many taxpayers are so frightened of the IRS that they'll do just about anything, including sending them money or gift cards, to pay for the taxes they think they owe.

IRS Scams During Tax Season

Each year during tax season, the IRS warns of scammers who use the regular mail, telephone, or email to set up individuals, businesses, payroll and tax professionals.

The IRS reminds the public they do not contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information.

The IRS says they will never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail a bill to any taxpayer who owes taxes.
  • Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law enforcement groups to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying.
  • Demand that taxes be paid without giving taxpayers the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
  • Call unexpectedly about a tax refund.

If you receive an IRS scam call you should:

  • Record the number and then hang up the phone immediately.
  • Report the call to Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration using their IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting form or by calling 800-366-4484.
  • phishing@irs.gov

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