The IRS has issued a word of warning about a sophisticated phone call scam spreading across the country. Potential victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid immediately through a debit card or wire transfer. The people that refuse are told they will be arrested, deported or their business or driver’s license will be suspended.
The caller tends to use hostile language or insults to persuade the potential victim. They may be able to recite your last four of your social security number as well. You may receive a phone call claiming to be from the local police or the department of licensing, in an attempt to convince you the first call was legit. Scams like these are most likely to work on people with mental disabilities or people who have difficulty speaking English.
Danny Werfel, IRS Acting Commissioner said, “rest assured, we do not and will not ask for credit card numbers over the phone, nor request a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer. If someone unexpectedly calls claiming to be from the IRS and threatens police arrest, deportation or license revocation if you don’t pay immediately, that is a sign that it really isn’t the IRS calling.”
Werfel said the IRS first form of contact will be via mail, not by phone. If you get a call like this, the IRS says to call the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484. You should also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at FTC.gov. Add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your complaint.