The phone fraud and e-mail scam has become an epidemic throughout the United States, according to a release from the chief.
Guida outlined what residents need to know to protect themselves.
The IRS generally first contacts people by mail – not by phone- e-mail or social media about unpaid taxes.
Also the IRS will not ask for payment using prepaid debit card, a money order or wire transfers.
The scammers often threaten those who refuse to pay with being charged for a criminal violation, a grand jury indictment, immediate arrest, deportation or loss of a business or drivers license.
Other tactics used by the scammers include: using automated robocalls; identify themselves with common names and fake IRS badge numbers; know the last four digits of victims’ Social Security numbers; make caller ID look like the IRS is calling; aggressively demand immediate payment to avoid being criminally charged or arrested; claim that hanging up will cause the immediate issuance of an arrest warrant for unpaid taxes; sending bogus IRS emails to support their claim and call a second or third time claiming to be the police or department of motor vehicles, again making the caller ID look like the call is legitimate.
Chief Guida says anyone getting a phone call from someone claiming to be the IRS and asking for payment should hang up the phone and not engage in conversation. Also do not prove any personal information.
Anyone who does owe taxes should call the IRS at 800.829.1040.
For those who do not owe taxes, fill out an “IRS impersonation scam” form on TIGTA’s website, www.tigta.gov or call TIGTA at 800-366-4484.
Also you may file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.FTC.gov.
Add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments in your complaint.
You should forward scam e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org. Do not open any attachments or click on any links in those e-mails.
For more information about tax scams, read the official IRS website at www.irs.gov.