News - IRS Fraud Alert

WESTWORTH VILLAGE PD Urges Taxpayers to Remain on "High Alert" for IRS Impersonators

TIGTA (Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration) continues to receive reports of thousands of contacts every month in which individuals fraudulently claiming to be IRS officials make unsolicited calls and “robocalls” to taxpayers and demanding that they send them cash.

The Inspector General noted that the scam has hit taxpayers in every State in the country. Callers claiming to be from the IRS tell intended victims they owe taxes and must pay using a pre-paid debit card, money order or a wire transfer. The scammers threaten those who refuse to pay with being charged for a criminal violation, a grand jury indictment, immediate arrest, deportation or loss of a business or driver’s license.

Here is what you need to know:

The IRS generally first contacts people by mail – not by phone – about unpaid taxes and the IRS will not ask for payment using a prepaid debit card, a money order or wire a transfer. The IRS also will not ask for a credit card number over the phone. The callers who commit this fraud often:

•Utilize an automated robocall machine.

•Use common names and fake IRS badge numbers.

•May know the last four digits of the victim’s Social Security Number.

•Make caller ID information appear as if the IRS is calling.

•Aggressively demand immediate payment to avoid being criminally charged or arrested.

•Claim that hanging up the telephone will cause the immediate issuance of an arrest warrant for unpaid taxes.

•Send bogus IRS e-mails to support their scam.

•Call a second or third time claiming to be the police or department of motor vehicles, and the caller ID again supports their claim.

What to do if this happens to you:

If you get a call from someone claiming to be with the IRS asking for a payment, here’s what to do:

•If you owe Federal taxes, or think you might owe taxes, hang up and call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you with your payment questions.

•If you do not owe taxes, fill out the “IRS Impersonation scam” form on TIGTA’s website, www.tigta.gov, or call TIGTA at 800-366-4484.

•You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.FTC.gov. Add “IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments in your complaint.