Don't Fall for the IRS Phone Scam
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be the IRS, hang up, no matter how convincing they may sound or what kind of threats they make. The IRS almost never calls individuals on the phone and they will not be e-mailing you either. Although the IRS issued its original warning about the phone scam in 2014, its still up and going strong. The agency has received more than 90,000 complaints and calls from victims who have lost over 5 million dollars in the year 2015.
The scam goes something like this:
The scammers call people and tell them they owe money to the IRS and that they are going to go to jail, be deported, or lose their driver’s license.
They may also say that you are being charged with defrauding the government and that your assets are going to be frozen. But, this is the problem, you can put an end to the problem if you send money right away via prepaid credit card or wire transfer. When victims refuse or argue, saying they do not own any taxes, the callers are often hostile or even swear at them.
In some cases, the scammers have detailed information about the victims that make them sound legitimate. They are also known to spoof the caller id so it shows a real IRS phone number, making the call sound more real.
How to Recognize the Fraudulent Calls:
First red flag is getting a call from the IRS. Normally, the IRS contacts people by mail to start a dialog about any unpaid taxes.
The callers have a foreign accent and also choose very generic American names or names of movie characters.
The scammers ask for a specific type of payment such as a greed dot card. The IRS will never ask you to use a specific payment method and will not ask you to give a credit card or debit card information over the phone.
The scammers may threaten to have you picked up by local law enforcement. The IRS does not work that way.
The scammers do not give you the opportunity to question, verify or appeal the amount they say you owe.
The IRS does not simply demand immediate payment since there is a process they are required to go through by law.
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