The IRS is warning taxpayers of various IRS impersonation scams that have been prevalent recently.
There have been several aggressive phone scams targeting taxpayers. The caller often falsely claims to be an IRS agent or law enforcement official. They are con artists and sound convincing when they call. The callers use fake names and fake IRS identification badge numbers. They may know a lot about their targets, such as the last four digits of the target’s social security number, and they can alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS or police are calling. Additionally, the background noise of the other calls may make it seem like the call is from a call center.
Taxpayers are told they owe money to the IRS and that 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, filing of a lawsuit or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller can become hostile and insulting.
Additionally, 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.
Per the IRS, 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 or notice; 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; 5) threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying; 6) call about an unexpected refund.”
IRS email phishing scams are also very common. Taxpayers will receive an email which appears to be from the IRS. The email includes a link to a bogus web site intended to look like the official IRS web site. The emails direct the taxpayers “to update your IRS e-file immediately.” The emails include references to USA.gov and IRSgov (note it is without a dot between “IRS” and “gov”). The authentic IRS website has the dot between IRS and gov. These emails are not from the IRS. Do not respond to the emails or click on any links.
The IRS has issued several warnings about scams where there is fraudulent use of the IRS name or logo. These scammers are trying to gain access to consumers’ financial information in order to steal their identity and assets. They will use the regular mail, telephone, fax or email to set up their victims. Please note that the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by e-mail, text messages, or social media channels to request personal or financial information.
Any unsolicited email claiming to be from the IRS, or from an IRS-related division such as EFTPS, should be reported to the IRS at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additionally, to avoid downloading a malicious computer virus onto your computer, do not click on attachments or links within an unsolicited email claiming to come from the IRS.
Feel free to contact your representative at DKC if you have any questions or if you receive communications mentioned above.