Our Office continues to receive a high volume of calls related to the IRS Phone Scam. Since the scam began, the Consumer Protection Division has logged thousands of complaints from consumers who have been contacted by a person perpetrating this scam.
The Attorney General's Office first sent out a Consumer Alert about this scam on December 16, 2013. A caller will pretend to work for the Internal Revenue Service and threaten the victim with arrest or some other kind of punishment if he or she doesn't pay a certain sum immediately with a pre-paid debit card or money order.
"These callers claim the person who answered the phone has unpaid taxes that must be paid immediately," the Attorney General said in the alert. "They use aggressive language and threaten everything from jail time to deportation to loss of a driver's license or business license if the money isn't paid immediately."
According to the Internal Revenue Service, the callers who commit fraud often:
In March 2014, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration announced that this is the "largest scam of its kind" and thousands of victims had already paid more than $1 million to scammers. The callers typically use the same script, which leads these inspectors to believe they may be connected.
As a reminder, the IRS will never initiate contact with you out of the blue via telephone. Additionally, the IRS will never demand credit or debit card payment over the telephone, or demand that you pay a tax bill in a specific manner.
The office strongly urges all consumers to ignore such calls, do not return voicemails and report any victimization to the U.S. Inspector General’s Office on Tax Administration via http://1.usa.gov/1ClYZbP or via email at Complaints@tigta.treas.gov or firstname.lastname@example.org. Consumers may also call the Internal Revenue Service directly at 1-800-829-1040, report it to the U.S. Treasury Department at 1-800-366-4484 and then call our Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-368-8808.