According to the IRS, there has been an increase in tax
scams involving pervasive telephone calls. These scam artists pretend to be
from the IRS or other official organizations and may contact consumers in hopes
of getting the person to reveal information so that the scammers can use it to
steal money or identities from victims. There are a number of variations on
this. For example, callers may say the victims owe money, are entitled to a
huge refund, or are threatened with legal action for not revealing information.
Scammers may place calls during times when it might be inconvenient to contact
the IRS for verification. The IRS has noted a few patterns in these calls such
- Scammers “spoof” or imitate the IRS toll-free
number on caller ID to make it appear that it’s the IRS calling.
- Scammers use fake names/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 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 center.
- After threatening victims with legal action,
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 and you can’t recall an outstanding and legitimate tax, call the IRS at
1.800.829.1040. If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the
IRS and you know you don’t owe taxes, your case to the Treasury Inspector
General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1.800.366.4484.