Taxpayers Being Slammed With Fake IRS Agents Phone Scam
Watch who you talk to on the phone! Scam artists are calling unsuspecting folks and acting like Internal Revenue Service agents. So far, the con game has cost thousands of taxpayers more than $1 million. In fact, it’s the largest such phone scam the IRS has ever experienced, revealed the agency’s watchdog.
According to J. Russell George, Treasury inspector general for tax administration, more than 20,000 victims have been targeted by fake tax agents who tell taxpayers they owe taxes. They then demand that they pay using a prepaid debit card or via wire transfer, reports USA Today.
Victims are told they could be arrested, deported or lose their business or driver’s license if they do not pay, George said in a news release.
The IRS generally notifies taxpayers via mail first. Also real IRS agents would never demand a payment by debit card or wire transfer. Actually IRS agents don’t even ask for credit card numbers over the phone.
This scam, which has hit residents in almost every state, has been going on since last March, but will probably escalate while we’re in tax season. Sometimes the scam artists even know the last four digits of the Social Security number of the person they’re swindling. “They also use common names, fake badge numbers and follow up with official-looking e-mails,” reports USA Today.