The IRS is warning the public about yet another phone scam targeting people across the nation, including recent immigrants. A press release from the IRS indicates the callers claim to be from the IRS, telling the victims that they owe taxes and must pay with a prepaid debit card or wire transfer before threatening 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, and make the caller ID appear as if the IRS is calling. They can also send bogus IRS emails to support their scam or call a second time claiming to be the police or DMV, and caller ID again supports their claim.
The release states that the IRS usually first contacts people by mail – not by phone – about unpaid taxes, and the IRS won’t ask for payment using a prepaid 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, hang up and call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. 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. You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at FTC.gov. Add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments in your complaint.
Be alert for phone and email scams that use the IRS name. The IRS will never request personal or financial information by email, texting or any social media. You should forward scam emails to email@example.com. Don’t open any attachments or click on any links in those emails.