Wednesday, April 10, 2019

New data reveals robocalls peak during tax season

From All Area Codes

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) publishes both daily and monthly data on the number of complaints consumers submit about telemarketers allegedly violating Do Not Call rules. In each of the past three years, complaints increase during the March and April tax season.

During the peak of the third week in April, the average daily complaints are 10% higher than the last week of March and more than 5 times the January daily average. Because April 15th sometimes falls on a weekend, tax day isn't always on the 15th. It was on the 18th in 2016 and 2017. In 2018, it was on the 17th. In 2019, April 15th falls on a Monday so it will be the tax deadline for most consumers.

For this tax season, consumers should be alert when answering calls related to their tax returns because they are likely scams. The IRS has stated repeatedly that they will not call consumers to demand immediate payment for taxes. Further, they will not call without first sending a bill in the mail, they will not ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone, and they will not threaten with the police or lawsuits.

The IRS urges consumers that if they suspect the call is a scam, hang up immediately without giving out any personal information and call the IRS directly at 800-829-1040. However, calling the IRS has proven difficult during the beginning of the year as the government shutdown has increased hold times and left many calls unanswered.

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