In recent weeks, Financial Crimes has gotten tips from several citizens receiving automated phone calls with pre-recorded messages directing the victims to call a given phone number to make payment to the IRS. Once they call, the victims are then connected with a scammer who insists the victim owes money to the IRS. The scammer demands payment over the phone and if the victim does not comply, the scammer threatens to call police.
Detectives warn that if you receive a phone call of this nature, hang up the phone and do not send any money. If you believe you may owe money to the IRS, contact them directly at 800-829-1040.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, or TIGTA, has received reports of about 736,000 scam contacts since October 2013. Nearly 4,550 victims have collectively paid over $23 million as a result of the scam.
As a reminder, the IRS will not:
- Call you to demand immediate payment. The IRS will not call you if you owe taxes without first sending you a bill in the mail.
- Demand that you pay taxes and not allow you to question or appeal the amount you owe.
- Require that you pay your taxes a certain way. For instance, require that you pay with a prepaid debit card.
- Ask for your credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
- Threaten to bring in police or other agencies to arrest you for not paying.
For more information, refer to the IRS website at www.irs.gov.