As tax season continues, Consumer Protection Advocate Mike Bannon wants people to be wary of scams. 

Experts believe scammers are using robo-dialing machines to show the IRS’ number on caller ID. This is an illegal practice called “spoofing.”

“A lot of people across the United States have reported getting a phone call claiming there’s something wrong with their taxes and they need to call a number right away to rectify it,” Bannon said.

Once they get you on the phone, these callers may ask for credit card or social security numbers. Getting duped may leave someone open to identity theft and other financial trouble.

However, even Bannon was unnerved the first time he received a spoof phone call.

“It was pretty scary and I know about these calls,” Bannon admitted. “These scam artists have been pretty tricky and this has been a successful scam.”

There are things to look for to avoid these calls. First, the IRS will send several notifications in the mail long before they make any phone calls. Also, even though they have a reputation for being tough, the IRS will never be threatening.

“But if someone thinks they have or could possibly have an issue with the IRS, they should contact the agency directly,” Bannon advised. “Don’t follow the phone call is really the key here.”

Unfortunately, this scam has grown every year. It nabs unsuspecting people all across the nation. Bannon hopes legislators will take action to make robo-dialers register with the Federal Trade Commission.

“Phone companies know when a robo-dialing machine is being used,” Bannon said. “If a company that wanted to use a machine legitimately registered with the FTC, I think it would stop a lot of the out-of-the-country calls that are coming in.”

People looking for more information can find it on the Consumer Protection website or call Mike Bannon at 215-348-6060.