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.