Fake IRS scam calls target recent immigrants

ID-100246752Most of us know it’s not a good idea to get on the Internal Revenue Service’s bad side, so a call from someone claiming to be an IRS agent would have to be rather scary.

Unfortunately, scammers have taken advantage of that fear to steal money. Recent immigrants have been among the targets, according to a warning from the IRS.

Your BBB urges you to make sure you’re dealing with a real IRS representative and never wire money to scammers.

Victims of the scam are being told they owe the IRS money, which must be paid immediately through a pre-loaded debit card or via wire transfer. The scammers threaten the victim with arrest, loss of a business or drivers license or deportation if they refuse to cooperate.

Scammers sometimes use fake names and badge numbers, sometimes know the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security number. They also use tricks like spoofing the IRS toll-free number on caller ID, sending bogus IRS emails and calling back pretending to be police or some other official.

If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, you should do the following:

  • If you know or think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 and speak with a real IRS employee.
  • If you know you don’t think you owe taxes, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484.
  • You should also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their FTC Complaint Assistant at FTC.gov.  Add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your complaint.