Tax season may be over but that has not stopped scammers from continuing to pose as IRS officials and making calls threatening jail time and loss of property. Thousands of calls have been made to individuals across the country with total losses around one million dollars.
Callers to Better Business Bureau (BBB) say they have received 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. These IRS and tax-related phone scams are being reported to BBBs nationwide.
“In these types of situations, it’s important for consumers to not give out any personal information over the phone or through email,” said Jim Hegarty, president and CEO of your BBB. “The IRS will not call taxpayers directly, but rather send notifications through U.S. Mail.”
According to the IRS, the agency never contacts taxpayers by phone requesting 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.
BBB recommends the following tips if you receive one of these scam phone calls:
If you or someone you know receives a threatening phone call claiming to be with the US government, report it to your BBB by calling 800-649-6814 or email email@example.com. For more information you can trust, visit bbbinc.org.