IRS issuing letters, making phone calls to collect outstanding debt

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A lot of scams surface during tax season, but the IRS is doing some things that are legitimate but might not seem like it.

Some people are getting calls or letters from the IRS asking for personal information. Though it would normally be red flags for a scam, it is completely legitimate.

A phone number is listed on a form called a 4883C. When calling, you’ll be asked to provide personal information, but it isn’t a scam.

“It’s scary, especially the fact that people are actually out there scamming people like that,” Christopher Miller, of Colonie, said. “It’s going to be really difficult to tell who is the right one.”

Some said it’s confusing, but others, said you should be okay if you’ve got the letter.

“It’s probably a better way than just getting a call that you don’t know what it’s from,” Claudia Thornton, of Colonie, said. “You’re making that call.”

Now, you could also get a call from the IRS that isn’t a scam.

“I think it can be confusing because you get a lot of confusing phone calls anyway, and then you have the IRS potentially,” Bruce Bolesky, of Latham, said.

“It could be confusing because I was always told they won’t call you first to be contacted,” Peter Lomanto, of Albany, said.

It’s something new being done so the IRS can collect outstanding debt.

“It’s confusing because then you have those scams that are doing the same thing, so who do you believe?” Miller wondered.

Some people think the new letter or phone calls could open the door for people to fall victim to real scams more easily.

“There’s scammers and there’s all kinds of people looking for ways to get money from us, and that’s nerve wracking for me,” Bolesky said.

And makes it harder to tell truth from a trick.

“Yes, it is a confusing thing, and they should be careful what they’re doing now,” Thornton said.

Some tips to avoid falling victim to a scam is to research any letters that come in the mail. If you do get a call from the IRS, you’ll always get a letter first if it’s real.

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