IRS warns of phone scam
The Internal Revenue Service this week 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 threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver's license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting.
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, call (800) 829-1040 or your local police department.