Just before the April 17 tax deadline, scammers are working overtime trying to get your money in a continuing phone scam. The Internal Revenue Service reports sophisticated IRS impostors are calling people and demanding immediate payment. In some cases they’re also impersonating local law enforcement and threatening you with immediate arrest unless you send money amounting in thousands of dollars in back taxes that you supposedly owe.
Here’s how this IRS phone scam works
The scammers use phone spoofing to make their number come up as “IRS,” and they already have the last 4 digits of your Social Security number – both of which lends them an air of legitimacy.
Here are some of their other tactics to watch for:
• They use common names and fake IRS badge numbers
• They send bogus IRS e-mails to support their scam
• They call a second time claiming to be the police or department of motor vehicles, and the caller ID again supports their claim
You’re told to submit payment either by wire or by prepaid debit card. So far, 1,000 people have been swindled out of $5 million, according to the IRS officials.
Know this: The IRS will not contact you by phone asking for money. They only contact you by U.S. mail if they want to get in touch with you. If you get one of these calls, hang up the phone.