As if dealing with the IRS wasn’t difficult enough.
Last month, Acainternational.org reported on a warning from the IRS about a scam that has been slowly growing into an epidemic.
How much of an epidemic?
According to the article, Timothy Camus – the Deputy Inspector General for Investigations at TIGTA (Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration) – has “…received reports of nearly 900,000 fake calls since October 2013.“
It hit a peak in March of last year when those running the scam contacted about 366,000 people in a single month.
As for the victims, despite there being over a million people called, the total number of folks who have actually paid the scammers is only over 5,000. Unfortunately, those 5,000 have managed to collectively lose more than $26 million.
The method these scammers are using is completely different from how the IRS contacts people who owe.
Typically if you owe money to the IRS, you’ll get a letter from them. If you fail to pay promptly , they may call you, but they will never demand an immediate payment or ask for a credit card number.
The scammers have taken a different approach.
Using intimidation tactics, they will attempt to scare people into paying with threats of prison time, and they can be quite convincing. In fact, the reports state that these scammers will use common names, fake IRS badge numbers, can recite the last four digits of your social security number, and can even dupe caller ID and email addresses. They also know the IRS’ practices in dealing with back taxes.
It may seem like it’s impossible to tell who is a scammer and who is form the IRS, but the key thing to note is whether the caller threatens you. If they do, it’s a dead giveaway they’re a scammer.