IRS warns of telephone scam

by Staff Reports

The Internal Revenue Service Monday warned consumers about a sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, throughout the country.

Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting.

“This scam has recently hit taxpayers in the Southeast Region. We encouraged taxpayers to guard against being misled by unscrupulous individuals trying to persuade them to give out their social security numbers and personal financial information. The IRS does not and will not ask for credit card numbers over the phone, nor request a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer,” said IRS spokesman Mark S. Green of the Atlanta office. “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 first IRS contact with taxpayers on a tax issue is likely to occur via mail. Don’t let yourself get involved in a tax scam or be bullied by a Con artists”, said Green.

Other characteristics of this scam include:

• 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 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 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 Add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments of your complaint. Taxpayers should be aware that there are other unrelated scams (such as a lottery sweepstakes) and solicitations (such as debt relief) that fraudulently claim to be from the IRS.

The IRS encourages taxpayers to be vigilant against phone and email scams that use the IRS as a lure. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels. The IRS also does not ask for PINs, passwords or similar confidential access information for credit card, bank or other financial accounts. Recipients should not open any attachments or click on any links contained in the message. Instead, forward the e-mail to .

More Local

Man found guilty of child molestation, enticement

A man with two previous arrests for rape was convicted Tuesday of molesting a child. It took a jury only a few hours to convict Randy Hunter ... Read More

Piedmont Newnan thwarts talk of urgent care plans

Despite information presented by Piedmont Newnan Hospital executives to Coweta business and industry officials last summer, hospital represe ... Read More

First Coweta recipients of REACH scholarship recognized

Two Coweta eighth graders were recognized by Georgia first lady Sandra Deal, as they became the first recipients in the Coweta County School ... Read More

Emissions scandal affects VW stocks

The U.S. Environmental Protection Division has had the technology to identify citizens falsifying emissions tests for the past 10 years, but ... Read More

Transcripts more than a year late

Delinquent court reporter released from jail

A court reporter who was jailed for contempt of Coweta Superior Court was more than a year behind on providing transcripts of cases. Accordi ... Read More

GSP: Speed, conditions to blame for fatality

A single-vehicle fatality earlier this week was due to bad weather and driving too fast for conditions, according to the Georgia State Patro ... Read More