The IRS phone scam has shocked the IRS with its magnitude. For taxpayers, it is a reality that means picking up the phone to hear the IRS telling them to pay up immediately or face arrest. Tax scammers are using the identity of the IRS to threaten taxpayers into sharing their Social Security number, bank account details and other financial information.
The threats from the scammers are mostly about immediate arrest or loss of important licenses. The scammers inform the receivers that they owe taxes to the IRS and if they do not pay immediately, they will be arrested or lose their drivers or professional licenses. The method of payment they propose is usually wire transfer or pre-paid debit card. The scammers ask for sensitive information and they do not give up. If the receiver does not succumb to their demands, the scammer will intensify the threats and many times follow it up with fake calls claiming to be from the police.
It is fear that makes many people pay the money they never owed. To date, $1 million has been lost to this scam. The scammers use sophisticated methods, where sometimes even the phone number from which they call imitates IRS numbers.
Taxpayers should stay informed about the scam to know how to respond to calls from the scammers.