Scammers are amazingly creative. One of the new schemes is to spoof a phone number from the DC area as the caller claims to be from the IRS. The caller says you have back taxes due and must be paid right now or else you will be going to jail. This can be settled today for a fraction of the due amount if you just provide a credit card number to pay the smaller amount to take care of this today.
This is just another identity theft scam designed to steal your money.
William P. Barrett tells of a friend who received such a call. Mr. Barrett returned the call on behalf of the friend and tells of the conversation: IRS scammer makes threatening call to Seattle.
Now if you happen to actually owe back taxes, you can be very confident the IRS will aggressively work to collect what you owe. I assure you – you will be hearing from them.
There’s a few things that won’t be happening.
- The IRS will not be calling you; they make initial and followup contact by mail.
- The IRS won’t be threatening jail time. If you are really, really, really out of line then jail might be in your future, but if you are in that place, you already know you are in trouble. Even if you are that phenomenally out of line, they won’t be making threats. The matter just gets moved to the criminal investigation division.
- The IRS won’t be asking for a credit, debit, or prepaid card number.
Here’s a real IRS communication – watch out for scams
The IRS has issued several strong warnings to watch out for various types of scams. Here are select comments from a notice on April 14, 2014:
IRS Reiterates Warning of Pervasive Telephone Scam
WASHINGTON — As the 2014 filing season nears an end, the Internal Revenue Service today issued another strong warning for consumers to guard against sophisticated and aggressive phone scams targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, as reported incidents of this crime continue to rise nationwide. These scams won’t likely end with the filing season so the IRS urges everyone to remain on guard.
The IRS will always send taxpayers a written notification of any tax due via the U.S. mail. The IRS never asks for credit card, debit card or prepaid card information over the telephone. For more information or to report a scam, go to www.irs.gov and type “scam” in the search box.
People have reported a particularly aggressive phone scam in the last several months. Immigrants are frequently targeted. Potential victims are threatened with deportation, arrest, having their utilities shut off, or having their driver’s licenses revoked. Callers are frequently insulting or hostile – apparently to scare their potential victims.
Potential victims may be told they are entitled to big refunds, or that they owe money that must be paid immediately to the IRS. When unsuccessful the first time, sometimes phone scammers call back trying a new strategy.