The Treasury Inspector General for Taxpayer Administration issued an official press release warning Americans to beware of a phone scam involving the IRS. The scammers are impersonating IRS representatives demanding immediate payments on pre-paid debit cards and by wire transfer, claiming the victims have not filed their taxes or have made mistakes on their current filings. Over 450,000 taxpayers have received these fraudulent calls and thousands of unsuspecting victims have lost over $1 million dollars, in March alone.
The scammers are using VOIP phone numbers, purchasing the numbers in bulk and discontinuing the use of the numbers shortly after use. They spoof Caller IDs to appear as the IRS 1-800-829-1040
or a local number. It’s become the largest phone scam on record and the Treasury Inspector General for Taxpayer Administration
want to make sure that innocent taxpayers are aware of this scam to avoid being hurt.
Pindrop security recorded one of the scammer's phone calls and posted it on their blog
along with a script to help potential victims to avoid succumbing to the phone scam.
Listen to a full call here
If you get a call from someone claiming to be with the IRS asking for a payment, here’s what you 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 don’t owe taxes, call and report the incident to 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.