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WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEWS CENTER) -- Friday the Internal Revenue Service issued a consumer alert with tips to protect themselves from telephone scam artists calling and pretending to be with the IRS.

The IRS said the con artists may know your personal information and use fake names and IRS identification badge numbers.

The IRS released five things scammers will do often, but the IRS never does. In a statement, it said the IRS will never:

  • Call you about taxes you owe without first mailing you an official notice,
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe,
  • Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card,
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone, OR
  • Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, you should hang up and call back the IRS to talk to someone directly. You can also find more information on the IRS website.

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