WASHINGTON D.C. (KSDK) – As tax season draws to a close, some scammers are targeting recent immigrants and pretending to be the Internal Revenue Service, according to an email from the IRS.
Scammers are allegedly threatening potential victims with deportation, having their utilities shut off or their driver's licenses revoked. Those at the receiving end of the calls are told they are entitled to big refunds, or that they owe money immediately to the IRS.
The IRS sends taxpayers written notification of any tax due via mail, and would never ask for any credit, debit or prepaid card information over the phone.
The IRS cites these other characteristics of the scams:
· Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.
· Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim's Social Security number.
· Scammers spoof the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it's the IRS calling.
· Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS emails to some victims to support their bogus calls.
· Victims hear background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call site.
· After threatening victims with jail time or driver's license revocation, scammers hang up and others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or DMV, and the caller ID supports their claim.
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here's what you should do:
· If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS employees at that line can help you with a payment issue – if there really is such an issue.
· If you know you don't owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes (for example, you've never received a bill or the caller made some bogus threats as described above), then call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1.800.366.4484.
· If you've been targeted by this scam, you should also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their "FTC Complaint Assistant" at FTC.gov. Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments of your complaint.