IRS Reports Spike in ‘Robo-Call’ Scams

IRS Phone ScamScammers are increasingly turning to “robo-calls,” in an effort to get fake tax payments. The Internal Revenue Service is reporting an increase in the number of scams taking the form of automated phone calls.

The scammers generally demand payment in the form of iTunes cards or gift cards. The IRS reminds taxpayers that’s a clear warning sign of a scam.

The way the scam generally works, according to the IRS, is that taxpayers will get an automated call demanding that they call back to settle a tax bill. When victims call back, the scammer usually issues more threats, telling them they’ll be arrested, deported, or have their driver’s license revoked if they don’t pay.

The IRS says it will never demand payment without having first mailed a bill. It also won’t threaten to bring in local police to have people arrested for not paying, or require them to use a specific payment method, like a gift card or prepaid debit card.

IRS officials ask those who receive these scam telephone calls to report them to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and the Federal Trade Commission.