Beware of Growing IRS Phone Scam, Cautions Better Business Bureau


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By Steve Abel – President-BBB | January 1, 2014

Income tax season is just around the corner, so the crooks posing as IRS Agents will be working overtime. A phone scam targeting taxpayers and threatening them with arrest, deportation or license suspension if they do not immediately pay money they supposedly owe to the IRS is the subject of a warning by the Better Business Bureau and the U.S. Internal Revenue Service . Payment is demanded through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. Whenever you are asked for personal or financial information, such as credit card numbers, be wary. No legitimate businesses or government institutions will ever ask for this information over the phone or email. The real IRS will send you mail.{{more}}The scammers involved in these calls are tricking taxpayers into giving money by spoofing the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling and are sending emails to support their fake phone calls. Do not become a victim of a fake IRS phone call; the Better Business Bureau has tips to help you avoid getting scammed:• Do not ever give out your financial information over the phone. The real IRS will not ask for financial information over the phone. Any contact from the IRS will be through direct mail.• Hang up the phone. If you are being asked for personal and financial information by someone claiming to be an IRS employee, simply hang up. • If you receive an email, do not click on anything within it. The emails that scammers send may include computer viruses that could harm your computer or access personal information.• Report the incident. If you are a victim of this scam, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484. You should also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” Make sure to add “IRS Telephone Scam” to your comments.• For more tips on protecting your identity, visit www.bbb.org