IRS phone scams on the rise as tax deadline nears - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

IRS phone scams on the rise as tax deadline nears

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As the tax deadline approaches, more people are receiving phone calls from scammers posing as IRS agents in hopes of stealing money.

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), there is typically a surge in scam phone calls during filing season. The aggressive callers often threaten arrest, deportation and license revocation if a victim doesn't send cash, usually through a wire transfer or a prepaid debit or gift card. 

Scammers often alter caller ID numbers to make it look like the IRS or another agency is calling, they sometimes use IRS employee titles and fake badge numbers, and may even use the victim's name, address and other personal information to make the call sound official.

The IRS says it will never...

  • Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. 
  • Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying.
  • Demand that taxes be paid without giving taxpayers the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Call you about an unexpected refund.

If you receive one of these calls, do not give out any information and hang up immediately.

You can report the call to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration by calling 800-366-4484 or making a report online. You can also make an online report to the Federal Trade Commission.

Click here for more information from the IRS on scams targeting taxpayers.

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