IRS-Impersonation Phone Scam Continues

By Steve Abel – President of the Abilene BBB | February 1, 2015

BBB has been warning about an aggressive and sophisticated phone scam for over a year. Callers claim to be employees of the IRS, but are not. These con artists can sound convincing when they call. They use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. They may know a lot about their targets, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling. Victims are told they owe money to the IRS {{more}} 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.Or, victims may be told they have a refund due to try to trick them into sharing private information.”Helpful tax tips from your BBB: It’s tax time, and to get things started off in the right direction, The Better Business Bureau is offering these tax tips to avoid having your identity stolen: • The IRS & BBB recommends filing tax returns electronically. • Use a secure Internet connection if you file your taxes electronically. • If you choose to mail your return, do so directly from the post office. • Shred copies of the tax return, drafts or calculation sheets that are no longer need.• Respond to all mail from the IRS as soon as possible.• Know the IRS won’t contact you by email, text or social media. If the IRS needs information, it will first contact you by mail.• Don’t give out your Social Security number or Medicare number unless necessary. Ask why it’s needed, how it’s going to be used, and how it will be stored.• Get recommendations and check out BBB Business Reviews of tax preparers before you hand over personal information.• If your Social Security number has been compromised, contact the IRS ID Theft Protection Specialized Unit at 908-4490.• Check your credit report at least once a year for free at www.annualcreditreport.com to make sure no other accounts have been opened in your name.• More information about tax identity theft is available at ftc.gov/taxidtheft and the IRS at irs.gov/identitytheft