Based on a recent alert from the IRS, BBB is warning our Accredited Businesses to be on the lookout – at home and at work – for threatening phone calls from people claiming to be with the IRS. According to the IRS, this scheme has victimized people nationwide.
“Fraudsters know taxes are forefront on the minds of many people in the midst of tax season,” said Dana Badgerow, president and CEO of BBB of Minnesota and North Dakota. “They play on that and they often have just enough accurate information to keep potential victims off-balance.”
According to the IRS, these unknown callers – falsely claiming an affiliation with the IRS – tell intended victims they owe taxes and must pay using a pre-paid debit card or via wire transfer. These scammers threaten those who refuse to pay with arrest, deportation or loss of a business or driver’s license. However, the IRS usually first contacts people by mail – not by phone – in regard to unpaid taxes. And the IRS won’t ask for payment using a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer. The IRS also won’t ask you for a credit card number over the phone.
J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), says, “If someone unexpectedly calls claiming to be from the IRS and uses threatening language if you don’t pay immediately, that is a sign that it really isn’t the IRS calling.”
The callers who commit this type of fraud often:
If you get a call from someone claiming to be with the IRS asking for a payment, here’s what to do:
The IRS will never request personal or financial information by email, texting or any social media. You should forward scam emails to email@example.com. Don’t open any attachments or click on any links in such emails. You can also contact BBB in regard to any suspicious phone calls or offers Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. by calling 800-646-6222.