Attention: IRS Phone Scam

Attention Tax Preparers: Let you clients know taxpayers should be wary of an IRS phone scam recently discovered. These scammers are calling innocent taxpayers, often immigrants and elderly, and impersonating IRS agents demanding that they pay unowed taxes over the phone. They are requesting payment immediately by loading money on a prepaid card or via a wire transfer. The victims are threatened with arrest, deportation and even license suspension if they do not comply.

 

The scammers are using a tactic called “caller ID spoofing” to make the IRS toll-free number appear on the caller ID. In addition to this trick, they make up bogus badge numbers and make the background noise resemble that of a call center. Once the victim hangs up, they may receive another phone call immediately after from someone impersonating the police or DMV agent.

 

Let your clients know to avoid this, they should never give their   credit card number or remit payment via prepaid card or wire transfer to an “IRS agent” over the phone. The IRS has stated that it will NEVER ask for payments to be made by prepaid debit card or wire transfer. The IRS will typically make its first contact to taxpayers via mail.

 

The IRS Acting Commissioner, Danny Werfel, released a statement, “If someone unexpectedly calls claiming to be from the IRS and threatens police arrest, deportation or license revocation if you don’t pay immediately, that is a sign that it really isn’t the IRS calling.

 

To report callers like this, please contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration by calling (800)366-4484.