During this tax season, tax scammers have been calling taxpayers pretending to be the IRS. If you receive a call from the IRS before April 15th, be suspicious because it might be from scammers. The IRS has received more than 20,000 reports regarding the telephone scam from taxpayers from across the country. The IRS has issued many alerts to warn taxpayers about the scam. There are reports that the phone scammers have stolen as much $1 million from taxpayers.
The imposters usually tell the taxpayers that they owe taxes and must pay immediately either using a pre-paid debit card or through wire transfer. “The scammers threaten those who refuse to pay with arrest, deportation or loss of a business or driver’s license,” an IRS officer said. When a taxpayer refuses to cooperate, scammers usually threaten or intimidate them with legal or police action.
Many times, a team of scammers operate a scam and follow-up initial calls by posing as the police. J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, has called it “the largest scam of its kind that we have ever seen.”
To ensure you do not fall victim to the telephone scam, you should never share any information with the caller or act without confirming the identity of the caller from multiple sources. IRS officers do not demand immediate payment of tax debt through wire transfer or credit card. It is best to contact the IRS using the phone number(s) on their website to confirm the demand.