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Beware of IRS Scams
It's tax season, which means the IRS is reporting an upswing in tax-related scams. One of the most popular involves a phone call from someone who purports to be a representative of the IRS. Callers often alter the caller ID so that it looks as if the call is coming from the IRS, they have fake badge numbers, and often they know quite a bit about the person they are calling.
The scammer tells the person who answers the phone that they owe money to the IRS and that if they do not pay it immediately, by wire transfer or gift card, they face serious consequences, including jail. The scammers also target recent immigrants, often speaking in their native language, and threaten deportation unless they pay. If no one answers, the caller leaves an "urgent" message. In another version of the scam, the caller says the person has a refund coming and asks for bank account numbers and other personal information to send the refund.
The IRS reminds consumers that its agents never call and require immediate payment. Usually they send a letter to inform taxpayers about a tax dispute, and the taxpayer always has the chance to reply. If you receive such a phone call, hang up and report it to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484.