IRS warns of sophisticated phone scam

The Internal Revenue Service warned about a telephone scam in which targeted taxpayers are told they owe money and must pay up immediately.

The IRS on Thursday said the operation was sophisticated. The scammers are able to provide would-be victims the last four digits of their Social Security numbers and have the ability to spoof the agency’s toll-free number on caller ID.

“This scam has hit taxpayers in nearly every state in the country,” said Danny Werfel, acting commissioner. “We want to educate taxpayers so they can help protect themselves. “If someone unexpectedly calls claiming to be from the IRS and threatens police arrest, deportation or license revocation if you don’t pay immediately, that is a sign that it really isn’t the IRS calling.”

The agency said the scammers also send fake emails to support their claims and use fake names and IRS badge numbers.


They have threatened victims of the scam with jail time or driver’s license revocation. Scammers hang up and another person will soon call back claiming to be from the local police or Department of Motor Vehicles office.

The IRS encourages anyone who has been targeted by the scam to report any incidents to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. More information can be found here.


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