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The caller ID says they're from the IRS — do you need to pay, or is it just a scam?

The Internal Revenue Service on Tuesday warned of a new twist on an old phone scam where callers mimic the phone number of IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers to trick victims into paying non-existent tax bills.
The Internal Revenue Service on Tuesday warned of a new twist on an old phone scam where callers mimic the phone number of IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers to trick victims into paying non-existent tax bills. AP file

Tax season may have ended with last week's filing deadline, but there is no offseason for tax scammers.

The Internal Revenue Service on Tuesday warned of a new twist on an old phone scam where callers mimic the phone number of IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers to trick victims into paying non-existent tax bills.

The latest version of the scam sees criminals calling and saying they're from the IRS. The scam artists have programed their computers to display the Taxpayer Assistance Center phone number on victim's caller ID.

Similar scams are also being run spoofing the phone numbers for local police, department of motor vehicles offices and other federal agencies, according to the IRS release.

IRS employees at Taxpayer Assistance Centers don't make calls to taxpayers demanding payment on overdue tax bills, according to the release, instead relying on mail correspondence, except for "limited circumstances."

According to the press release, the IRS does not:

▪ Demand you use a specific payment method, such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer or ask for you debit or credit card numbers over the phone.

▪ Demand you pay taxes without an opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.

▪ Threaten to bring in local police, immigration offers or other law enforcement for not paying. The IRS is not able to revoke your driver's license, business license or immigration status.

Anybody receiving what they believe to be an IRS impersonation scam should report it to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at its IRS impersonation scam reporting website and email the IRS at phishing@irs.gov.

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