5 Ways to Recognize IRS Telephone Scammers
The San Angelo Police Department has received several calls regarding the ongoing IRS-Impersonation Telephone Scam.
The IRS-Impersonation Telephone Scam is an aggressive and sophisticated phone Scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants. Callers claim to be employees of the IRS, but are not. These con artists can sound convincing when they call. They use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. They may know a lot about their targets, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling.
Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting.
Victims may also be told they have a refund due to try to trick them into sharing private information.
If the phone isn't answered, the scammers often leave an “urgent” callback request.
The Internal Revenue Service will never:
- Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
- Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
- Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
- Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
Be wary if you receive a call from someone who claims to be from the IRS and demands immediate payment. If you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you do: Contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.
Another common IRS Scam is the Email Phishing Scam: "Update your IRS e-file" — The emails appear to be from the IRS and include a link to a bogus web site intended to mirror the official IRS web site. Our best defense against Scams is to educate the public. Please share this important information with family and friends via Social Media or by good old-fashioned conversationThese emails contain the direction “you are to update your IRS e-file immediately.” The emails mention USA.gov and IRSgov (without a dot between "IRS" and "gov"), though notably, not IRS.gov (with a dot). These emails are not from the IRS.
Taxpayers who get these messages should not respond to the email or click on the links. Instead, they should forward the Scam emails to the IRS at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit the IRS's Report Phishing web page at http://www.irs.gov/uac/Report-Phishing. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information.
“Our best defense against Scams is to educate the public. Please share this important information with family and friends via Social Media or by good old-fashioned conversation.”