As tax deadline approaches, IRS warns of phone scams
As the April filing deadline approaches, the Internal Revenue Service today warned taxpayers to be alert to tax time phone scams where aggressive criminals pose as IRS agents in hopes of stealing money or personal information.
Phone scams continue to pose a major threat and have cost thousands of people millions of dollars in recent years, the IRS said in a news release.
The IRS urges taxpayers to help protect themselves against phone scams and identity theft by reviewing safety tips prepared by the Security Summit, a collaborative effort between the IRS, states and the private-sector tax community.
How do the scams work?
Criminals make unsolicited calls and leave voicemails with urgent callback requests claiming to be IRS officials. They demand that the victim pay a bogus tax bill by sending cash through a wire transfer, prepaid debit card or gift card.
Many phone scammers use threats to intimidate and bully a victim into paying. The phone scammers may alter or “spoof” their caller ID to make it look like the IRS or another agency is calling. The callers may use IRS employee titles and fake badge numbers to appear legitimate.