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Scammers Pretend to Be IRS

It's a scam that we are already seeing. Scammers are using the phone, pretending to be the IRS and claiming you owe money.According to the IRS's website, people are receiving calls claiming that they owe money or are going to get a huge refund.

Some callers threaten to revoke their driver's license or that they will face jail time if they don't pay. They even do follow-up phone calls and claim to be from the police or motor vehicle department.

The IRS says these are some characteristics of these 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" or imitate 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.

"Taxpayers should be on the lookout for tax scams using the IRS name," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. "These schemes jump every year at tax time. Scams can be sophisticated and take many different forms. We urge people to protect themselves and use caution when viewing e-mails, receiving telephone calls or getting advice on tax issues."

Here's what you should do if you get a call from someone pretending to be the IRS:

  • If you think you may owe taxes - hang up and call the IRS at 800-829-1040. Their employees can help you with any payment issue.

  • If you don't owe taxes - hang up and call 800-366-4484 to report the scam to the Treasury Inspector General Tax Administration.

You can also go to and contact the Federal Trade Commission through their "FTC Complaint Assistant". Add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comment section of the complaint.

Disclaimer: The items included in the Tax Tip Tuesday Video Blog are informational only and are not meant as tax advice. Consult with your tax advisor to determine how any item applies to your situation. IRS Circular 230 disclosure: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, we inform you that any U.S. federal tax advise contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein.

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