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Better Business Bureau ®
Start With Trust®
In Central Illinois
IRS Phone Scheme Remains A Strong Threat
June 23, 2014

Tax season may be over but that has not stopped scammers from continuing to pose as IRS officials and making calls threatening jail, deportation and loss of property. Thousands of calls have been made to individuals across the country  with total losses around one million dollars.

Callers to the BBB say they have been left voicemail messages stating they need to contact the IRS immediately or they would face legal consequences. Other messages threatened arrest by U.S. Marshals for failure to pay the correct amount of taxes.

In addition to claiming to be from the IRS, other individuals say they have been called by people stating they were with the U.S. Treasury; although it is a different government agency, the scam remains the same.

According to the IRS, the agency never contacts taxpayers by phone asking for money. They also never contact taxpayers by email. If there is an issue with the IRS that requires your response, the contact would be made by U.S. mail.

If you receive one of these scam phone calls the BBB recommends:

  • Hang up – Don’t provide any information over the phone. Call the IRS directly using the phone number found on their website or in the phone book.
  • Protect personal information – In response to an incoming call, never give out any personal or financial information such as your Social Security number, mother’s maiden name or any passwords and other identifying information.
  • Contact the FCC – Let the Federal Communications Commission know about ID spoofers by calling 1-888-CALL-FCC or file a complaint atwww.fcc.gov/complaints
  • Contact the FTC – File a formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov/complaint. From the complaint homepage, select “Other” and then “Imposter Scams”. In the notes, include “IRS Telephone Scam”.

 

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For more information, journalists should contact Jessica Tharp at 309-670-1182 or jtharp@hoibbb.org