IRS Phone Scams: Be Smarter Than Them

Taxpayers, beware: the IRS has recently reported that there has been an increase of fraudsters impersonating IRS agents that call unsuspecting people across the country demanding they pay taxes that they don’t even owe to the government. The victims are often immigrants, who answer their phone only to be informed that they owe the IRS a substantial sum and will need to pay immediately, either by loading money on a prepaid credit card or by wire transfer. If they argue or refuse to pay, they can then be threatened with arrest or even deported. This, of course, is completely bogus.

The reason these calls seem so convincing to people is because the scammers use caller ID spoofing and make sure that the IRS’s toll-free phone number appears on the victim’s caller ID. Additionally, they might make up bogus badge numbers and may know the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security number.

If you want to avoid getting duped, don’t believe anyone claiming to be the IRS who calls asking for payment over the phone or via wire transfer. The IRS said it will never ask for payments to be made by prepaid debit card or wire transfer, and they normally only communicate via mail. If you are ever the victim of one of these scams or have had someone call you claiming to be with the IRS, then you should contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration immediately.

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