IRS Phone Scam Warning

 

March 3, 2016

 

Once again the IRS is warning the public about phone scams that continue to claim victims across the country. In these scams, thieves make unsolicited phone calls to their intended victims. Callers fraudulently claim to be from the IRS and demand immediate payment of taxes by a prepaid debit card, money order, or wire transfer.
To avoid becoming a victim of these scams, you should know:
  • The IRS will first contact you by mail if you owe taxes, not by phone.
  • The IRS never asks for credit, debit or prepaid card information over the phone.
  • The IRS never insists that you use a specific payment method to pay your tax.
  • The IRS never requests immediate payment over the telephone.
Scammers may tell would-be victims that they owe money and that they must pay what they owe immediately. They may also tell them that they are entitled to a large refund. Other characteristics of these scams include:
  • Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers to identify themselves.
  • Scammers may know the last four digits of your Social Security number.
  • Scammers make the phone number appear as if the IRS is calling.
  • Scammers may send bogus IRS emails to victims to support their bogus calls.
  • Victims hear background noise of other calls to mimic a call site.
  • After threatening victims with jail time or driver’s license revocation, scammers hang up. Others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or DMV, and caller ID again supports their claim.
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here’s what you should do:
  • If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS employees at this number can help you with your payment questions.
  • If you know you don’t owe taxes or don’t think that you owe any taxes, you should fill out the “IRS Impersonation scam” form on the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration’s (TIGTA) website, www.tigta.gov, or call TIGTA at 800-366-4484.
  • If you have become a victim to this scam, you should also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at www.FTC.gov. Add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments of your complaint.
The IRS encourages you to be vigilant against phone and email scams that use the IRS as a lure. Visit the IRS website, www.IRS.gov, to learn how to report tax fraud and for more information on what you can do to avoid becoming a victim. For more information regarding this particular scam please visit the following website and read the TGITA’s press release: https://www.treasury.gov/tigta/press/press_tigta-2016-01.htm.
 
If you have been contacted by a Scammer claiming to be from the IRS, and provided personal information such as your VISA debit card number or social security number, please contact our Call Center at (607) 734-3374, or stop by your local branch office today.
 

 

 

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