Warning – Fraudulent Phone Scammers Are on the Loose

Posted on: August 22, 2014

In the most recent article dated August 13, 2014 from the Internal Revenue Service, they continue to hear reports of unsolicited calls from individuals who demand payment while fraudulently claiming to be from the IRS.  The IRS has received approximately 90,000 phone complaints via their telephone hotline.  As a result of the hotline calls, the IRS has identified around 1,100 victims who have lost an estimated $5 million from these phone scammers.

Per the IRS Commissioner, John Koskinen, “Taxpayers should remember their first contact with the IRS will not be a call from out of the blue, but through official correspondence sent through the mail.  A big red flag for these scams are angry, threatening calls from people who say they are from the IRS and urging immediate payment.  This is not how we operate.  People should hang up immediately and contact TIGTA or the IRS.”

The IRS says that taxpayers need to know that they would never ask for credit card, debit card, or prepaid card information over the phone.  They would also never insist that the taxpayer use a specific type of payment or request immediate payment over the phone.  It has been reported that the phone scam victims have been told that they owe money that must be paid immediately or that they are even entitled to large refunds.  Some of the characteristics of these phone scams include; the use of fake names and IRS badge numbers, the scammer may be able to recite the last four digits of your social security number, the phone number they are calling from may be spoofed to appear the IRS is calling, you may receive an email that appears to be from the IRS, and they may threaten you with jail time or driver’s license revocation.  The scammers who are not successful on the first call will often call again and use different tactics to lure individuals into providing their personal information.

If you know you don’t owe any taxes or have any reason to think that you owe any taxes and have received some bogus threats as stated above, you are urged to:

-          Call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484.

-          If you receive an email, you should NOT open any attachments or click on any links contained in the message.  Instead, forward the email to                    phishing @irs.gov.

Whenever you receive any correspondence from a governmental  taxing  agency please do not hesitate to contact us for assistance.  If you are contacted by an agent, you have the right to hire representation. We can help you determine the validity of the correspondence as well as help you resolve any outstanding issues.