Taxpayers Targeted By IRS Phone Scam

Posted June 15, 2017

If you get a call from someone from the IRS demanding that you pay up or else, hang up. According to the Ulster County District Attorney’s Division of Consumer Affairs, these individuals are out to cheat you. 

This phone scam has hit taxpayers in nearly every state in the country. Callers claiming to be from the IRS tell intended victims they owe taxes and must pay using a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer. They often threaten those who refuse to pay with arrest, deportation or loss of a business or driver’s license.

 The truth is the IRS first contacts people by mail – not by phone – about unpaid taxes. And the agency won’t ask for payment using a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer, and it won’t ask for a credit card number over the phone. 

If you get such a call, Consumer Affairs (340-3260) offers these suggestions:

  • If you owe Federal taxes, or think you might owe taxes, hang up and call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you with payment questions.
  • If you don’t owe taxes, call and report the incident to TIGTA (Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration) at 800-366-4484.  

TIGTA and the IRS encourage taxpayers to be alert for phone and e-mail scams that use the IRS name. The IRS will never request personal or financial information by e-mail, texting or any social media. These scam e-mails should be forwarded to phishing[at]irs[dot]gov. Don’t open any attachments or click on any links in those e-mails.