7 On Your Side: Proactive Son Helps Mother Avoid Tax Scam - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

1/7/07-

7 On Your Side: Proactive Son Helps Mother Avoid Tax Scam

Dennis Mack says his mother is 85-years-old and lives alone.  So getting a phone call at 10:30 at night was also unusual.

"Which was her first flag that something wasn't right," says Dennis.

On the other end, was supposedly the IRS.

"[He] said she was arrears on her taxes and that if she didn't settle the tax bill in the amount of $31,000 that they would seize her property, evict her, take her checking account, savings account and all that kind of stuff," Dennis explains.

Getting an unsolicited phone call from the IRS is a red flag.  The agency never makes unsolicited calls.

The same rule of thumb goes for emails.  Something to look out for as we get into the tax season.

"They wanted to verify who she was and she said, 'I don't give that information over the phone and if you are who you said you are you know who I am,'" says Dennis.

She knew not to give out that information because of Dennis.  Over the years, the retired law enforcement officer has taken the time to school his mother on how not to fall for the scams.

"I've educated her on one, don't do any business with anyone that comes knocking on the door saying they need to pave your driveway or fix your roof.  First thing you do you get their card tell them you'll call them back, call the better business bureau and check on them.  If you get a call on the phone, they want information you say no give me your phone number and I'll have my attorney call you," says Dennis.

In this case, the bogus IRS agent was finally hung up on.  Never getting a chance to take advantage of another victim.

"She's a feisty lady!," says Dennis about  his mom.

She can rest assured she won't get burned by another tax scam.

If you're ever solicited over the phone by someone claiming to be with the IRS, there is a number you can call to verify if it's a legitimate call.

It's 1-800-TAX-1040.

Christine Nelson, Reporting. cnelson@kltv.com

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