As reported by numerous news outlets, 70 call-center workers were arrested just outside of Mumbai, India for posing as the IRS over the phone and demanding payment for bogus fees and charges. This group made almost $150,000 US dollars a day in just one of many IRS-related phone scams out there.
We want to remind all of you to be wary of such scams. The IRS never makes first contact with taxpayers over the phone; they first reach out to people through the mail. Additionally, here are some common characteristics of phone scams, per the IRS:
- Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.
- Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security number.
- Scammers spoof the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it’s the IRS calling.
- Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS emails to some victims to support their bogus calls.
- Victims hear background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call site.
- After threatening victims with jail time or driver’s license revocation, scammers hang up and others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or DMV, and the caller ID supports their claim.
Also remember that the IRS:
- Never asks for credit card, debit card or prepaid card information over the telephone.
- Never insists that taxpayers use a specific payment method to pay tax obligations
- Never requests immediate payment over the telephone and will not take enforcement action immediately following a phone conversation. Taxpayers usually receive prior notification of IRS enforcement action involving IRS tax liens or levies.
If you would like to learn more about how you can protect yourself from scams and other fraudulent activity, please contact us. We provide information and presentations that can help you protect yourself and your loved ones from scammers at no cost or obligation to you.