A major scam using the IRS name has been circulating
the country recently. People are receiving calls from scammers pretending to be
the IRS in nearly every state in the country. These scammers tell taxpayers
that they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid immediately through wire
transfer or a pre-loaded debit card. If the receiver does not cooperate, the
caller threatens arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s
license. There have been reported cases in which the caller becomes insulting
and aggressive. These calls are being received throughout the country,
especially by recent immigrants.
Acting Commissioner Danny Werfer said, “This scam has hit taxpayers in nearly
every state in the country. We want to educate taxpayers so they can help
protect themselves. Rest assured, we do not and will not ask for credit
card numbers over the phone, nor request a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer.
If someone unexpectedly calls claiming to be from the IRS and threatens police
arrest, deportation or license revocation if you don’t pay immediately, that is
a sign that it really isn’t the IRS calling.”
The scammers make themselves look authentic. The
following are methods the scammers commonly use to make it look as though they
are from the IRS:
- Fake names and IRS badge numbers. The scammers use common names and
surnames to identify themselves.
- Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s
Social Security Number.
- Scammers spoof the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it
appear as though it’s the IRS calling.
- Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS emails to support their bogus
- Victims hear background noise of other calls being conducted to
mimic a call site.
- After threatening victims with jail time or driver’s license
revocation, scammers hang up and others soon call back pretending to be
from the local police or DMV, and caller ID supports their claim.
If you receive a call that says it is from
the IRS, do the following:
- If you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, stop contact
with the person on the unsolicited call and make a call to the IRS at
1.800.829.1040. The IRS employees at that line will help you with the
payment issue or let you know if you owe taxes. Usually, the IRS sends a
notice with information about the tax debt.
- If you don’t owe taxes, call and report the incident to the Treasury
Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1.800.366.4484. You can also
contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint
Assistant” at FTC.gov. Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" to
the comments of your complaint.
Labels: Identity Theft, IRS, Tax Scams, Taxpayers