IRS – Impersonation Telephone Scam
An aggressive and sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, has been making the rounds throughout the country. Callers claim to be the employee 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. The 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.
Or, victims may 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.
Note that the IRS will never 1) call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill; 2) demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe; 3) require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card; 4) ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone; or 5) threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
Email Phishing Scam: “Update your IRS e-file”
The IRS has been alerted to a new e-mail phishing scam. The e-mails appear to be from the IRS and include a link to a bogus web site intended to mirror the official IRS web site. Those e-mails contain the direction “you are to update your IRS e- file immediately.” The e-mails mention USAgov and IRSgov (without a dot between “IRS and “gov”), though notably, not IRS.gov (with a dot). Don’t get scammed. These e-mails are not from the IRS.
Taxpayers who get these messages should not respond to the e-mail or click on the links. Instead, they should forward the scam e-mails to the IRS at firstname.lastname@example.org For more information, visit the IRS’s Report Phishing web page.
Identity Theft Scams
The IRS has issued several consumer warnings about the fraudulent use of the IRS name or logo by scamsters trying to gain access to consumers’ financial information in order to steal their identity and assets. Scamsters will use the regular mail, telephone, fax or e-mail to set up their victims. When identity theft takes place over the internet (e-mail) it is called phishing.
The IRS does not initiate taxpayer communications through e-mail. Unsolicited e- mail claiming to be from the IRS, or from an IRS related component such as EFTPS, should be reported to the IRS at email@example.com
Additionally, clicking on attachments to or links within an unsolicited email claiming to come from the IRS may download a malicious virus onto your computer.