The IRS is warning the public about a phone scam that targets people across the nation, including recent immigrants. Callers claiming to be from the IRS tell intended victims they owe taxes and must pay using a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer. The scammers threaten those who refuse to pay with arrest, deportation or loss of a business or driver’s license. The callers who commit this fraud often:
• Use common names and fake IRS badge numbers.
• Know the last four digits of the victim’s Social Security number.
• Make caller ID appear as if the IRS is calling. • Send bogus IRS emails to support their scam.
• Call a second time claiming to be the police or DMV, and caller ID again supports their claim.
The truth is the IRS usually first contacts people by mail – not by phone – about unpaid taxes. And the IRS won’t ask for payment using a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer. The agency also won’t ask for a credit card number over the phone. If you get a call from someone claiming to be with the IRS asking for a payment, here’s what to do: If you owe federal taxes, or think you might owe taxes, hang up and call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you with your payment questions. If you don’t owe taxes, call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484.
Partner Station WMSR