IRS Scam Warning: Taxpayers Targeted With Fraudulent and Sophisticated Phone Threats

Have you received a phone call from a person identifying themselves as an IRS employee, claiming you owe the IRS money? The IRS is warning taxpayers of a fraudulent phone call scheme, designed to trick you into wiring money to the scammers running it. 

Threatening and Intimidating
On Thursday, the IRS posted a notice about the widespread scam:

“Rest assured, we do not and will not ask for credit card numbers over the phone, nor request a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer,” says IRS Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel. “If someone unexpectedly calls claiming to be from the IRS and threatens police arrest, deportation or license revocation if you don’t pay immediately, that is a sign that it really isn’t the IRS calling.”

The scammers are telling victims that they owe money to the IRS and it needs to be paid promptly via debit card or transfer. The caller gets hostile if the victim isn’t immediately compliant—threatening deportation, suspension or imprisonment.

Signs to Look For

  • Over the phone—the IRS says tax issues are typically handled by mail
  • Urgent Tone—if the caller is threatening or insulting, then this is an indicator of a scammer trying to intimidate you
  • Demanding personal information—the IRS does not ask for pins and passwords for credit cards, bank accounts or other financial information

Beware of the Scammers Ability to:

  • Identify themselves with a fake name and IRS badge number
  • Recite the last four digits of your social security number
  • Send fraudulent emails supporting their claims
  • Use a toll-free number
  • Call back pretending to be the local police or DMV

If you think you have been a victim of this scam, first call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 to see if there really is a payment issue with your taxes. If you are sure you do not owe taxes and have received a phony call, then contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484 to report your incident. For help with your IRS tax problems, contact tax attorney, Todd Unger Esq.