Attorney General warns of IRS phone scam

SKAGIT VALLEY HERALDMarch 28, 2014 

The state Office of the Attorney General is warning consumers about a fast-moving phone scam targeting taxpayers across the country.

According to a news release, scammers are impersonating Internal Revenue Service agents to demand payment of taxes owed.

The release notes this scam has been called the largest of its type. Individual victims have reported threats of license suspension, arrest and deportation.

The scam is particularly hard to detect because impersonators know the last four digits of victims’ Social Security numbers. They also make caller identification appear as though the IRS is calling, send bogus follow-up IRS emails and call back claiming to be police or Department of Motor Vehicle workers to support their claims, the release notes.

The IRS usually contacts people by U.S. Postal Service mail for unpaid taxes, not by email.

The IRS won't ask for payment using a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer and won’t involve law enforcement or immigration agencies. The best method for fighting the scam is to hang up, the release notes.

To avoid being a scam victim, do not give money or credit card information over the phone, and don't trust callers who use threats or insults to persuade you into a decision.

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