BE AWARE- THE SCAM IS BACK : IRS watchdog warns of ‘largest scam of its kind’ with agency impersonators

Until they are gone for good, Be aware !!!!!  This is true, and they started again the scheme- they pray on your worst fears. They now have a sophisticated phone system, that shows them calling from an official  IRS phone number (on their web site listed), or a bank, or utility business, and so on.

The scammers also hack police phone numbers – on your ID will show a legitimate police number. Go to the first police station and tell them – they will clarify it for you.  

You have to hang up and contact directly the company if you have any concerns. Do not pay any money, no matter how much they try to intimidate you.   

March 20, 2014
The Internal Revenue Service watchdog on Thursday warned taxpayers of asophisticated nationwide phone scheme that has become “the largest scam of its kind that we have ever seen.”The plot involves callers claiming to represent the IRS and demanding immediate payments with a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer.

Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration Russell George announced that “thousands of victims” have already paid more than $1 million to fraudsters and that his agency has received more than 20,000 reports of contact.

The callers have used roughly the same scripts to bilk money from taxpayers, suggesting they may be connected, TIGTA officials said in an interview with reporters.

Officials also said the perpetrators often know the last four digits of the victims’ Social Security numbers and threaten arrest, deportation and removal of driver’s licenses — something the IRS is not authorized to do.

“If someone unexpectedly calls claiming to be from the IRS and uses threatening language if you don’t pay immediately, that is a sign that it really isn’t the IRS calling,” George said in a statement.

The callers tend to use common names and fake IRS badge numbers, in addition to manipulating their caller ID to appear more legitimate, according to officials. Some also follow up with false IRS e-mails and phone calls in which they pretend to represent the police or department of motor vehicles officials, TIGTA said.

The IRS generally contacts taxpayers first by mail or with personal visits by field agents, and the agency does not accept credit card information by phone, according to TIGTA officials.

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IRS Warns of Pervasive Telephone Scam

Versión en español

IRS YouTube Video:
Tax Scams: English | ASL

IR-2013-84, Oct. 31, 2013

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today 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 are then 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 hit taxpayers in nearly every state in the country.  We want to educate taxpayers so they can help protect themselves.  Rest assured, we do not and will not ask for credit card numbers over the phone, nor request a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer,” says IRS Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel. “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.” Werfel noted that the first IRS contact with taxpayers on a tax issue is likely to occur via mail

Other characteristics of this scam include:

  • Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.
  • Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security Number.
  • Scammers spoof the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it’s the IRS calling.
  • Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS emails to some victims to support their bogus calls.
  • Victims hear background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call site.
  • After threatening victims with jail time or driver’s license revocation, scammers hang up and others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or DMV, and the caller ID supports their claim.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here’s what you should do:

  • If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS employees at that line can help you with a payment issue – if there really is such an issue.
  • If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes (for example, you’ve never received a bill or the caller made some bogus threats as described above), then call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1.800.366.4484.
  • You can file a complaint using the FTC Complaint Assistant; choose “Other” and then “Imposter Scams.” If the complaint involves someone impersonating the IRS, include the words “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.

Taxpayers should be aware that there are other unrelated scams (such as a lottery sweepstakes) and solicitations (such as debt relief) that fraudulently claim to be from the IRS.

The IRS encourages taxpayers to be vigilant against phone and email scams that use the IRS as a lure. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information.  This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels. The IRS also does not ask for PINs, passwords or similar confidential access information for credit card, bank or other financial accounts. Recipients should not open any attachments or click on any links contained in the message. Instead, forward the e-mail tophishing@irs.gov.

More information on how to report phishing scams involving the IRS is available on the genuine IRS website, IRS.gov.

You can reblog the IRS tax scam alert via Tumblr.

Related Item: IRS Warns of New Email Phishing Scheme Falsely Claiming to be from the Taxpayer Advocate Service

I never thought I will post this type of “news” but here you go:

Tax Scams/Consumer Alerts

IRS Multimedia on Tax Scams

Videos

Podcasts

Most Recent Scams

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 employees 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. They 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.

For more details on this ongoing scam, see:

Email Phishing Scam: “Update your IRS e-file” 

The IRS has been alerted to a new email phishing scam. The emails appear to be from the IRS and include a link to a bogus web site intended to mirror the official IRS web site. These emails contain the direction “you are to update your IRS e-file immediately.” The emails mention USA.gov and IRSgov (without a dot between “IRS” and “gov”), though notably, not IRS.gov (with a dot). Don’t get scammed. These emails are not from the IRS.

Taxpayers who get these messages should not respond to the email or click on the links. Instead, they should forward the scam emails to the IRS at phishing@irs.gov. For more information, visit the IRS’s Report Phishing web page.

The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information.


Tax Scams

Don’t fall victim to tax scams. Remember — if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Some of the other recent scams the IRS has seen include:

  • IR-2014-39, IRS Warns of New Email Phishing Scheme Falsely Claiming to be from the Taxpayer Advocate Service
  • IR-2014-16, IRS Releases the “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams for 2014; Identity Theft, Phone Scams Lead List
  • IR-2014-5, Watch Out for Tax Scams as Filing Season Opening Nears
  • IR-2013-90, IRS Warns Consumers of Possible Scams Relating to Relief of Typhoon Victims
  • IR-2013-33, Don’t Fall Prey to the 2013 Dirty Dozen Tax Scams
  • IR-2012-23, IRS Releases the Dirty Dozen Tax Scams for 2012
  • IR-2011-73, IRS Urges Taxpayers to Avoid Becoming Victims of Tax Scams
  • IR-2011-39, Don’t Fall Prey to the 2011 Dirty Dozen Tax Scams

Education is the best way to avoid the pitfalls of these “too good to be true” tax scams. For more information, see:


Phony Arguments

No matter how some things are sliced, they’re still baloney. If someone tells you that you don’t have to pay taxes, check out The Truth About Frivolous Tax Arguments. This IRS.gov exclusive addresses some of the more common false legal arguments made by those opposed to compliance with the federal tax laws. Each contention is briefly explained, followed by a discussion of the legal authority that rejects the contention. The second section deals with frivolous arguments encountered in collection due process cases. The final section illustrates penalties imposed on those pursuing frivolous cases.

  • IR-2014-51, IRS Debunks Frivolous Tax Arguments,  includes numerous recently decided cases that demonstrate that the courts continue to regard such arguments as illegitimate.
  • IR-2011-23, IRS Debunks Frivolous Tax Arguments, highlights the issue and possible penalties.
  • IR-2004-41 describes the increasingly strong penalties the courts have imposed from March 2003 to March 2004 on taxpayers who pursued frivolous cases to delay IRS collection actions.
  • IR-2003-28 details penalties the Tax Court imposed from April 2001 until early March 2003 for making frivolous Collection Due Process arguments.

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 email to set up their victims. When identity theft takes place over the Internet (email), it is called phishing.

The IRS does not initiate taxpayer communications through email. Unsolicited email claiming to be from the IRS, or from an IRS-related component such as EFTPS, should be reported to the IRS at phishing@irs.gov.

Additionally, clicking on attachments to or links within an unsolicited email claiming to come from the IRS may download a malicious computer virus onto your computer.

Learn more about identity theft.

Learn how to protect your personal information.

You may also report instances of IRS-related phishing attempts and fraud to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484.


Reporting Tax-Related Schemes, Scams, Identity Theft and Fraud

To report the various types of tax-related illegal activities, refer to our chart explaining the types of activity and the appropriate forms or other methods to use.

 

 

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