The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) warned about a widespread phone scam that has targeted taxpayers, including recent immigrants, in almost every state in the country. Victims are scammed by being informed, over the phone, that they owe the IRS tax money and it must be paid promptly through a wire-transfer or with a pre-loaded debit card. Some victims are threatened with arrest, deportation or license suspension and the caller may become insulting and rude.
The IRS emphasizes that they will most likely contact a taxpayer regarding a tax issue through the mail and they do NOT request personal or financial information, PINs or passwords to accounts. If you receive a phone call from someone threatening you with deportation, arrest or even license revocation because you supposedly owe taxes, call the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484. You can also contact the Federal Trade Commission at FTC.gov and use their FTC Complaint Assistant to report this telephone scam.
Characteristics of the IRS Telephone Scam are:
- Persons enacting these scams use fake names and fake IRS badge numbers.
- Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of your Social Security Number.
- You might get an email to “support” the bogus phone call.
- You might hear background noises that mimic a call center.
- The caller ID on your telephone may look like it’s from the IRS, local police or Department of Motor Vehicles – especially if the scammers have made threats.
Your best action of defense is to hang up and call the IRS directly at 800-829-1040. Any IRS employee at that phone number can assist you with any possible tax payment issue – if one exists.
We want to remind every taxpayer that phone tax scams and other tax scams are extremely prevalent. Many scams out there deceitfully claim to be from the IRS. Taxpayers must be wary of people requesting payment or personal information whether the caller says they are from the IRS or some other official capacity. Protect your personal information, hang up and call the authorities.
If Liberty Tax can assist you in any way, call 1-866-871-1040 or click here.
Disclaimer: Every effort has been taken to provide the most accurate and honest analysis of the tax information provided in this blog. Please use your discretion before making any decisions based on the information provided. This blog is not intended to be a substitute for seeking professional tax advice based on your individual needs.