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Check the number on that IRS form

It's tax season and you're getting all manner of forms in the mail. One of those forms, sent by the Internal Revenue Service, has a customer service phone number on it that turns out to be quite the embarrassing mistake. The letter sent to taxpayers should have included this phone number: 1-866-897-0177. Instead, some included the wrong number, 1-800-897-0177, which led callers to a private company in Florida that tries to charge $9.99 a month on your cell phone bill, just to give you the right number. This practice, known as "cramming," is widespread, consumer advocates say. The Gambino crime family bilked millions of customers using this scheme for years.

Citing "human error," the IRS says it misprinted the number very few times on a form that's labeled in the bottom right-hand corner as "Letter 525." We're wondering if you've received one of these letters and whether the IRS got the number right on your form. Please let reporter David Cho know if you got the misprinted letter; he's at chod@washpost.com, or leave word on the comment board below this post.

After The Washington Post alerted the Florida company, Number Info Service, it says it has deactivated the number that the IRS sent out.

By David Cho  | February 8, 2010; 10:08 AM ET
Categories:  Build-A-Story  
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