Your Better Business Bureau serving Northwest Florida is warning consumers to be careful when receiving calls ‘supposedly’ from the IRS.
The IRS impersonation scam is one of the most persistent cons/scams out there. It reappears every few months, and recently it’s back with a vengeance. BBB has received numerous complaints about aggressive calls by fake IRS agents already this morning.
Here’s how the scam works:
You get a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS. The supposed “IRS agent” informs you that you owe for unpaid taxes. They may even provide a fake badge number and name.
The “representative” tries to pressure you into paying a fee by using a prepaid debit card or wire transfer (they have been asking for all types of pre-paid cards, even the ITunes card). If you don’t pay up immediately, the “IRS agent” will sign a warrant for your arrest. No matter how much the caller threatens you, don’t fall for it!
How to Spot an IRS Impostor Scam:
Be wary if you are being asked to act immediately. Scammers typically try to push you into action before you have had time to think. The IRS will give you the chance to question or appeal what you owe.
The IRS doesn’t call, text or email. The IRS won’t call about payment or overdue taxes, you will be contacted through the mail service.
Don’t wire money or use a prepaid debit card. Scammers often pressure people into wiring money or using a prepaid debit card. It’s like sending cash: once it’s gone, you can’t trace it. The IRS says it will never demand immediate payment, require a specific form of payment, or ask for credit card or debt card numbers over the phone.
If you owe taxes or you think you might, contact the IRS at 800.829.1040 or irs.gov. Real IRS employees can help you with a payment issue, if you actually have an issue.
If you know you don’t owe taxes, report the incident to the Department of the Treasury at 800-366-4484 or .
Check out the IRS website (irs.gov) to learn more about scams and report suspicious activity.
To find out more about other scams, check out BBB Scam Stopper (www.bbb.org/scamtracker).
For more information and advice you can trust, start with bbb.org.