The Treasury Inspector General for Taxpayer Administration (TIGTA) is warning taxpayers about one particular category of tax scams that has proven to be very widespread, very aggressive, and very relentless. Callers claim to be IRS employees, and they tell their intended victims that they owe taxes that must be paid immediately using a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. The fake IRS agents threaten those who refuse to pay with arrest, deportation, or loss of a business or driver’s license. The scammers have been operating in every state in the country.
Here are some practices used by the scammers that taxpayers should watch out for:
* Use of automated robocall machine.
* Caller gives fake IRS badge numbers.
* Caller knows last four digits of victim’s social security number.
* Caller ID is changed to appear as if the IRS is the caller.
* A fake IRS e-mail is sent supporting the scammer’s claims.
* Follow-up calls are made claiming to be from the police department or motor vehicle licensing office, with caller ID again supporting the claim.
If you receive one of these fake calls, complete the “IRS Impersonation Scam Form” on TIGTA’s website, or call TIGTA at 800-366-4484.David Bradsher, CPA