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Envision this: You pick up your cell phone, which displays “Taxpayer Assistance Center” and hear “Hello; this is the IRS.” What do you do? This caller deserves a laugh and a click!

Even in our sacred, rural South Dakota, scammers are out to defraud you. Area taxpayers share stories such as this, regularly! Do not fall victim. Share with others, especially elders, that the IRS will NOT call to demand payment. Period.

Please note that the IRS:

• Will not ask for your debit or credit card number over the phone.

• Will not demand that you use a specific payment method, such as a prepaid debit card, gift card, or wire transfer.

• Will not demand that you pay taxes without the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.

• Will not threaten to bring in local police or other law enforcement to have you arrested for not paying. The IRS also cannot revoke your driver’s license, business license, or immigration status.

Rather, the IRS communicates with a taxpayer through

written correspondence, called a Tax Notice. Along with a tax notice, taxpayers are advised of their rights with an insert. Tax notices are sent through regular mail delivered by the United States Postal Service.

If you encounter otherwise, contact a tax professional or the IRS to help you. The IRS can be contacted by emailing with the subject line “IRS Phone Scam.”

With over 20 years of experience in public accounting, Amanda Bechen CPA owns Bechen & Company PC located in Wagner, SD, and can be contacted at 605-384-4200 or