The IRS has issued a warning about a sophisticated and convincing new phone scam.
These scammers are targeting taxpayers, demanding that they pay money owed to the IRS through a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. Any hesitation on the victim’s part will be met with threats of arrest, or in the case of immigrants, deportation. The caller may also hang up and call back, claiming to be the police or DMV, making additional threats to the victim.
Although IRS scams have existed for years, this particular wave has a more convincing tone because the callers are using Caller ID spoofing so that the IRS phone number appears on Caller ID. The scammer may also have access to the last four digits of the victim’s social security number.
The IRS has stated that it typically initiates contact via mail, not by phone or email. It also does not ask for payment via prepaid debit card or wire transfer, nor do they ask for credit card numbers, PIN’s, or passwords over the phone.
What to do
If you have received this type of call, the IRS suggests reporting the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484, and filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at FTC.gov, including “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments.
- IRS Warns of Pervasive Telephone Scam (IRS: October 31, 2013)