The Internal Revenue Service is warning taxpayers of a new phone scam involving fake IRS agents who try to scare callers into paying fake tax liens by claiming they will be arrested if they don’t pay immediately.
The number 202-609-7070 has been listed in several complaints filed in August. The callers are reportedly using other numbers with a Washington, D.C., area code as well.
As KTVI-TV reports, the call usually goes something like this:
The phony agent usually has a heavy accent and tells the victim they owe money to the IRS. They say that if they don’t pay immediately then they will be arrested.
So far, the IRS estimates about 1,000 people have lost roughly $5 million in these kinds of scams. The Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration has received 90,000 complains so far.
If you believe you have been targeted by this scam or are in the future, you can report the scammers by calling 1-800-366-4484.
The IRS provides more “characteristics” of the scam:
• Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.
• Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security number.
• Scammers spoof the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it’s the IRS calling.
• Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS emails to some victims to support their bogus calls.
• Victims hear background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call site.
• After threatening victims with jail time or driver’s license revocation, scammers hang up and others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or DMV, and the caller ID supports their claim.