With the 2017 tax season underway, the IRS reminds people to remain alert to aggressive and threatening phone calls by criminals impersonating IRS agents.
The callers can sound convincing, using fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. They often alter their caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling.
Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and must pay it promptly through a preloaded debit card or wire transfer. If they refuse, victims are often threatened with arrest.
Alternately, victims may be told they have a refund due and callers try to trick them into sharing private information.
If a call is unanswered, phone scammers frequently leave an “urgent” call back request.
The IRS recommends hanging up any caller claiming to be the IRS asking for money, or offering a refund. The IRS will never demand payment, threaten to bring in police or other law enforcement for not paying, or ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone. To report a scam or possible scam, contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, by visiting irs.gov and its IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting page, or call 1-800-366-4484.