WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service has issued a warning about scam artists targeting Americans through their phones.
The scammers usually call from a cloned number with a Washington D.C. area code “202,” reported PIX11.com. The number 202-609-7070 has been frequent in complaints in the month of August.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration said it has received 90,000 complaints and claimed 1,100 victims to the tune of $5 million.
“There are clear warning signs about these scams, which continue at high levels throughout the nation,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said. “Taxpayers should remember their first contact with the IRS will not be a call from out of the blue, but through official correspondence sent through the mail.”
- Never asks for credit card, debit card or prepaid card information over the telephone.
- Never insists that taxpayers use a specific payment method to pay tax obligations
- Never requests immediate payment over the telephone and will not take enforcement action immediately following a phone conversation. Taxpayers usually receive prior notification of IRS enforcement action involving IRS tax liens or levies.
“A big red flag for these scams are angry, threatening calls from people who say they are from the IRS and urging immediate payment,” Koskinen said. “This is not how we operate. People should hang up immediately and contact TIGTA or the IRS.”
The phone number to call is 1-800-366-4484.
Other characteristics of these scams include:
- 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
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