The IRS phone scam is the latest tax scam that shocked the nation when it was first discovered several months ago. Dubbed the largest tax scam of its kind, in this tax scam, scammers use the facade of the IRS to intimidate taxpayers to immediately pay their tax debt through wire transfer or prepaid debit card. They also sometimes follow up on their calls, pretending to be the police. Taxpayers across the country have lost hundreds, even thousands, to this scam.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) believes that the tax scammers preyed on people’s fear that they owe the IRS taxes. Many taxpayers who did not even owe a tax debt ended up handing money over to the scammers, believing that they actually did owe.
Investigators at TIGTA found that around 60,000 such calls have been made across the country since last October. These are only the calls that were reported. There might be many more taxpayers who never realized that they have been duped or do not report the scam. It is estimated that a total amount of $4 million has been lost to this tax scam.
Taxpayers should be on the lookout for the IRS tax scam this summer. If you receive an unsolicited call that uses intimidation to force you into transferring money or sharing personal information, you should hang up and call the IRS directly to inquire about the alleged tax debt.