The IRS scammers are at it once again and they are getting more sophisticated as time goes by. Law Enforcement agencies from around the country are warning folks not to become victims of an IRS scam.
According to Fox News Connecticut on Feb. 10, the Wallingford, Connecticut Police Department is warning residents after an influx of these calls were reported in their town. The caller pretends to be an IRS agent and they say that you owe money to the IRS. They demand payment within 48 hours or they claim you will be arrested.
IRS phone scams are reported nationwide today and law enforcement agencies throughout the country are warning people about these realistic-sounding phone calls. From Connecticut to California and the states in between, these scams have caught many folks off guard. Unsuspecting victims have been scammed out of somewhere in the neighborhood of $14 million in the last few years.
These scams have been going strong for the past few years with the IRS reporting more than 250,000 people nationwide receiving these scam calls last year. Out of those calls over 3,000 have admitted to falling for the scam and sending the money demanded.
This is not the way the IRS operates, but police warn these scammers are extremely aggressive and many folks who are not aware of a scam, may fall for their spiel. Some of the calls are automated and they request a call back from you, reports WNEP News 16. When you make the call back they demand money that they say you owe to the IRS.
The Sioux City Journal reports the IRS states on its website that it does not contact people over the phone, they contact folks through the U.S. Mail when the occasions arises. Unfortunately these scammers seem to be coming from Easter Europe or Asia, which is out of the reach of the U.S. Government as well as law enforcement.
These calls are coming in a few forms, some start with the recorded message that directs you to call before close of the business day and another recorded message gives you 48 hours. saying that there is a problem with your taxes. Some of the recorded calls even say you are going to be sued.
When the scammers call in person they are demanding money and they can get down right nasty when using their scare tactics. Some even suggest the police are heading to your home, with others threatened to deport you. This is not anything that the IRS would ever do.
NBC News reports that the IRS will never:
“Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.”
“Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.”
“Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit cards or wire transfer (Western Union, Money Gram, etc…).”
“Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.”
“Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.”
If you think you might owe taxes then you can call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. They will help you make payment arrangements, if there really is such an issue. If you don’t owe any taxes or you believe you’ve been contacted by someone from one of these scams, then call the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484 to report the incident. You can also file a complaint using the FTC Complaint Assistant. For more information, visit the IRS Web site.