How IRS Imposter Scams Work
Imagine receiving a phone call from someone who claims to be from the IRS. They inform you that you owe back taxes and use fear-inducing tactics, threatening legal action, arrest, deportation, or license revocation if you don’t pay immediately. To make matters worse, they insist on payment through prepaid debit cards and demand your card numbers.
Here’s the catch: These calls are fraudulent. The real IRS would NEVER ask you to pay using prepaid debit cards or wire transfers. They don’t solicit credit card information over the phone. In fact, when the IRS contacts you about unpaid taxes, they do it by mail, not by phone. To add a layer of complexity, these scammers can manipulate caller IDs, making it appear as if the call is coming from Washington, DC.
Protecting Yourself and Your Loved Ones
To shield yourself from falling victim to IRS Imposter Scams, take the following actions:
- Halt Immediate Action: If you receive such a call, resist the urge to wire money or make payments with prepaid debit cards. Once the money is sent, it’s virtually impossible to recover. For any tax-related inquiries or concerns, visit the official IRS website at irs.gov or contact the IRS directly at 800-829-1040.
- Share Awareness: Knowledge is the best defense. Spread this vital information among your friends, family, and acquaintances. You might not have received one of these calls, but someone you know could be a target.
For those interested in a deeper dive into this topic, subscribing to consumer alerts at ftc.gov/subscribe is highly recommended.
Reporting Scams Matters
Your vigilance can make a difference in protecting others. Report any encountered scams to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). By doing so, you assist FTC investigators in identifying and stopping these imposters before they can harm more individuals.