The IRS has issued another warning to taxpayers, warning them of a continuing telephone scam. Several of us at Koulianos & Associates have been targeted with robocalls from a group identifying itself as “Internal Revenue Services.” Clients have called to report receiving similar calls.
Some of the calls are from actual human beings, and con individuals with a convincing act. From the IRS:
An aggressive and sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, has been making the rounds throughout the country. Callers claim to be employees of the IRS, but are not. These con artists can sound convincing when they call. They use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. They may know a lot about their targets, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling.
Victims are often informed they owe money to the IRS and that it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they may be threatened with arrest, deportation, or suspension of a business or driver’s license. It has been reported that the caller may become hostile and insulting.
Victims may also be told that they have a refund due to try to trick them into sharing private information. If the phone isn’t answered, the scammers often leave an “urgent” callback request.
There are several important facts to remember to ensure you do not fall victim to this or other scams involving groups pretending to be the IRS. Note that the IRS will never:
1) call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill;
2) demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe;
3) require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card;
4) ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone; or
5) threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
Again, remember, the IRS will always send taxpayers a written notification of any tax due via the U.S. mail. The IRS never asks for credit card, debit card or prepaid card information over the telephone. For more information or to report a scam, go to www.irs.gov and type “scam” in the search box.
Learn more about this and other tax scams the IRS is currently tracking here.