BBB warns people of IRS phone scam during tax season
Tax season is here, and Better Business Bureau serving Central, Coastal, Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin is warning people about an IRS phone scam that circulates during filing season. BBB regularly receives reports from people who allege they received calls from scammers impersonating IRS agents.
IRS impersonators make threats of arrest, deportation and license revocation if they don't receive immediate payment. The scammers instruct people to put money on a prepaid debit card, an iTunes gift card or send payment via wire transfer.
Last October, police in India raided a call center and arrested several people for allegedly posing as IRS agents. Shortly after, the U.S. Department of Justice indicted dozens of individuals and five call centers in India were charged for alleged involvement. IRS impersonators extorted as much as $150,000 a day from U.S. victims.
Since 2015, BBB Scam Tracker has received more than 48,000 reports of this scam nationwide. More than 4,000 reports of this scam came from Texas. In the last year, Texans reported losing more than $27,000 to this phone scam.
BBB offers this advice to avoid getting scammed:
BBB wants people to remember that the IRS will never contact you by phone or email, and they won’t ask for immediate payment in the form of a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. The IRS only contacts people by mail.