As tax time approaches, Your BBB continues to receive numerous phone calls from people who say they got threatening calls from scam artists claiming to be with the Internal Revenue Service.
The IRS published the following warning about the scam: Phone Scams Continue to be Serious Threat, Remain on IRS “Dirty Dozen” List of Tax Scams for the 2015 Filing Season.
Scam callers often threaten the consumer with arrest, deportation and license revocation if they don’t receive immediate payment. They then try to get the consumer to pay using a pre-paid debit card or other untraceable methods.
Scammers often manipulate caller ID numbers to make it look like the IRS is calling. They also use fake names and IRS badge numbers in order to sound official. Scammers often target vulnerable people such as the elderly and recent immigrants.
According to the IRS, nearly 3,000 victims collectively paid over $14 million as a result of the scam.
The IRS will NEVER:
- Call to demand immediate payment or call about taxes without mailing you a bill.
- Demand payment without giving you a chance to question or appeal the amount owed.
- Require a specific payment method, such as a prepaid debit card.
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
- Threaten to have you arrested for not paying.
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 or at http://www.tigta.gov.
- 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.