To verify any calls without the help of a tax professional, taxpayers are urged to consult the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, which is a free service offered by the Treasury Department for paying taxes. Victims are told that the debit card is linked to the EFTPS when, in reality, it is controlled entirely by the scammer.
As reported by Bored Panda, the scammers chose the wrong man to call when they left a message for a Reddit user named YesItWasDataMined, and he made a decision to call the fake IRS scammers back. In this tactic, scammers tell victims that if they do not call back, a warrant will be issued for their arrest.
The first step involved sending letters in early spring to a few hundred taxpayers who have had overdue bills for years to alert them that their accounts will be assigned to one of four private collection agencies. However, scammers are now impersonating private debt collectors and harassing taxpayers for cash. By preying on individuals who are either elderly, unsophisticated, or have limited English-language proficiency, the scammers are able to convince some individuals that they might be subject to hefty fines, jail time, and even deportation if they don’t make a prompt payment.
Taxpayers and tax pros alike are reminded to be wary of anyone posing as an IRS agent, and should always report any suspicious activity. Just this week, a man in Madison, Wisconsin was conned out of $6,000 after a man masquerading as an IRS agent called him and said his taxes were “misfiled”.
Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. They may also leave “urgent” callback requests through phone “robo-calls” or via a phishing email. The IRS will usually first mail a bill to any taxpayer who owes taxes.
The calls have gotten so prolific that the Internal Revenue Service reached out with information to help people getting scam calls from people pretending to be with the IRS.
Demand that taxes be paid without giving the taxpayer the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
Do not give out any information. Also, the IRS will not ask for credit card information over the phone.
“Cases of employment identity theft can cause significant burden to innocent taxpayers, including the incorrect computation of taxes based on income that does not belong to them”, said J Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. Each year, the IRS receives about 2.4 million tax returns filed using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) with reported wages. The caller might threaten the person and warn the potential victim against contacting the person who prepared their taxes.
Victims may also go to FTC.gov and use the FTC Complaint Assistant, just add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes section.