Protect Yourself Against the New “Epidemic” of IRS Phone Scams


IRS phone scams are becoming an “epidemic”, says the Better Business Bureau.

The scam works like this: Fraudsters posing as IRS agents are calling households claiming that they owe the agency money – and they need to make a payment immediately, or a lawsuit will be filed.

Then, the victims are tricked into handing over their credit card information to the fake IRS agent.

The BBB says that the scammers use tricks to try and prove their legitimacy. Among them:

* Providing fake IRS badge numbers or giving real or fake IRS toll-free phone numbers.

* Reciting the last four digits of victim’s Social Security number, or the address.

* Adding background noise to mimic a call center.

The calls are reportedly aggressive and the callers often speak with foreign accents.

The BBB clarified that the IRS will never use these aggressive tactics to collect money. If you do receive a call like this, hang up! The BB told the Courier-Journal:

The [BBB] said that “the IRS will never call for collection purposes. The organization will always send a written notification, if a resident has taxes that are due.”

It added that the federal agency “will also never ask for a credit card, debit card, or prepaid card information over the phone.”

The bureau cautioned consumers to “never give this information over the phone, if you did not initiate the call.”

The IRS phone scam topped the list of the hottest scams in January issued by the BBB serving Kentucky and Southern Indiana.


Photo by  Doug via Flickr CC License

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