U.S. Treasury warns about IRS phone scams

WASHINGTON  – A new warning tonight from the U.S. Treasury Inspector General’s office: fraudulent phone calls from scammers are not going away.

Each month, thousands of people report that they have received a call from someone pretending to be with the IRS. The fraudulent caller then demands payment immediately. Since October of 2013, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration’s office (TIGTA) reports 4,550 people sent $23 million to the scammers.

TIGTA offered some tips for consumers to avoid being taken. It says that the scammers will often:

–Use an automated message when contacting you

–Use common names and fake IRS badge numbers

–Already know the last four digits of your social security number

–Make the caller ID look like the IRS is calling

–Use threatening language like, ‘you will be arrested’ or ‘lose your business’ or ‘lose your license,’ if you do not pay immediately.

–Follow up with a phone call claiming to be from the police, or the DMV

The best thing to do when you get a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS is to hang up and call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.

If you have received a call like this and want to file a complaint, you can do so on TIGTA’s website or you can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. If you received a scam email, you can forward it to the IRS at [email protected].

For more information on IRS scams, head to the IRS website.

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