Phone Calls from IRS Fraud Division – Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
People are receiving phone calls from fraudsters posing as the IRS Fraud Division.
This is a scam.
Many people have reported receiving phone calls from the IRS Fraud Division. The caller typically asks for personal information, or tells the victim that they have to send money to the IRS and provides an address.
The IRS said the scam has targeted many recent immigrants, but that other people are at risk for it, too. The callers provide fake IRS identification badge numbers and alter caller ID screen displays to make it appear they are from the IRS:
“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 then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting.
Or, victims may be told they have a refund due to try to trick them into sharing private information.”
The IRS notes that there are a few easy ways to tell when someone is impersonating the IRS:
- The IRS never demands immediate payment, and all tax bills are mailed.
- Taxpayers always have the right to question or appeal the amount you owe.
- The IRS never requires specific payment methods like a prepaid debit card.
- The IRS never asks for credit card or debit card numbers over the phone.
- The IRS will never threaten to call local police or law enforcement groups to arrest you for not paying.
IRS phone scams became a big problem during the 2015 tax season. The Federal Trade Commission said that it had received more than 55,000 complaints of IRS fraudsters. Over the past three years, IRS imposters have defrauded people out of more than $15 million, the Senate Committee on Aging reports.
You can report IRS fraudsters here.