Consumer Alert – IRS Phone Scammers
Aggressive and threatening phone calls by criminals impersonating IRS agents remain a major threat to taxpayers, but now the IRS is receiving new reports of scammers calling under the guise of verifying tax return information over the phone.
Scammers call saying they have your tax return, and just need to verify a few details to process your return. The scammer tries to get you to give up personal information such as a Social Security number, or personal financial information, such as bank numbers or credit cards.
They demand that the victim pay a bogus tax bill and usually con the victim into sending cash, usually through a prepaid debit card or wire transfer.
Scammers often alter caller ID numbers to make it look like the IRS or another agency is calling. They use IRS titles and fake badge numbers to appear legitimate. They may use the victim’s name, address, and other personal information to make the call sound official.
The IRS will NEVER:
* Call to demand immediate payment over the phone
* Call or email you to verify your identity using personal information
* Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount
* Require you to use a specific payment method
* Ask for credit or debit card numbers
* Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups.
DO NOT give out any information. Hang up immediately and contact TIGTA (The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration) to report the call. This year they have seen a 400 percent increase in phone scams. Their phone number is 800-366-4484.
If you think you owe taxes, call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you.