ATLANTA — The Internal Revenue Service recently warned consumers about a sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, throughout the country.
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 then are threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting.
“This scam has recently hit taxpayers in the Southeast region. We encouraged taxpayers to guard against being misled by unscrupulous individuals trying to persuade them to give out their Social Security numbers and personal financial information. The IRS does not and will not ask for credit-card numbers over the phone, nor request a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer,” IRS spokesman Mark S. Green said.
“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. The first IRS contact with taxpayers on a tax issue is likely to occur via mail. Don’t let yourself get involved in a tax scam or be bullied by con artists.”
Anyone who gets call from someone claiming to be from the IRS should call the IRS at 800-829-1040.