IRS warns of phone scam targeting taxpayers and immigrants

lruebens@charlotteobserver.comNovember 2, 2013 

The Internal Revenue Service has issued a warning about a new telephone scam that targets taxpayers and immigrants.

Scammers are telling people that they owe the IRS money, which must be paid promptly by a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer, IRS officials said in a release.

If victims refuse to send money, callers will threaten them with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license.

Scammers will also use common fake names and IRS badge numbers, the IRS said. They often have the victim’s last four Social Security Number digits, a fake caller ID number and sometimes send fake emails.

“We do not and will not ask for credit card numbers over the phone, nor request a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer,” said Danny Warfel, IRS acting commissioner.

He said the IRS’s first contact with taxpayers on an issue with is typically through the mail.

Victims are asked to report incidents to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484, and contact the Federal Trade Commission at FTC.gov.

Ruebens: 704-358-5294; Twitter: @lruebens

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