Telephone Scam Now Making the Rounds
The IRS warns consumers about a sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, throughout the country. Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. Characteristics of this scam include:
· Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally 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 that it’s the IRS calling.
· Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS emails to some victims to support their bogus calls.
· 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 the caller ID supports their claim.
If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes (for example, you’ve never received a bill or the caller made some bogus threats as described above), call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484.