It's the latest phone scheme targeting consumers. This time the thieves are pretending to be from a government agency.
"What they're doing is they're telling victims that there victims owe money to the IRS and that it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or through a wire transfer," IRS spokesperson David Tucker said.
Tucker says if the victim refuses to cooperate, they're threatened with being arrested, deported out of the country or having their driver's license or business license suspended.
Most recently, thieves have began targeting immigrants.
"They become very hostile and insulting to the victims and so that intimidation sometimes coerces people to pay the money that they may in fact not owe at all," Tucker said.
The IRS says thieves are using fake names and badge numbers.
They're also spoofing the phone number and sometimes know the last four digits of the victim's social security number.
"The challenge is that we don't contact initially by either email or usually by phone its usually by US postal service we'll send a notice to an individual if there's an issue that needs to be resolved," Tucker said.
He says if you owe money you are contacted first by mail and that notice asks you to call the IRS.
"What people should listen for if there is other background noise they're trying to mimic a call site if someone starts threatening you with jail time or drivers license revocation then they should just simply hang up. If something sounds suspicious or aggressive they should call the IRS at 800-829-1040," Tucker said.
You can also email your consumer concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org or call #591-0222 weekdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
For more information, visit irs.gov
If you've received a bill or the caller made some bogus threats, call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484.
If you've been targeted by this scheme, you should also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their "FTC Complain Assistant" at ftc.gov. Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments of your complaint.
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