IRS Impersonator Scams
The Wake Forest Police Department has received reports of attempted fraud committed by persons impersonating IRS investigators. 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. The scammers threaten those who refuse to pay with arrest, deportation or loss of a business or driver's license.
Potential phone scam victims may be told they owe money that must be paid immediately to the IRS or they are entitled to big refunds. When unsuccessful the first time, sometimes phone scammers call back trying a new strategy.
The callers who commit this fraud often share the following characteristics:
Use common names and fake IRS badge numbers.
Know the last four digits of the victim's Social Security number.
Make caller ID appear as if the IRS is calling.
Send bogus IRS emails to support their scam.
Call a second time claiming to be the police or DMV, and caller ID again supports their claim.
It is important for taxpayers to know that the IRS:
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.
If you get a call from someone claiming to be with the IRS asking for a payment, here's what to do:
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 your payment questions.
If you don't owe taxes, call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484.
You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at FTC.gov. Add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments in your complaint.
Be alert for phone and email scams that use the IRS name. The IRS will never request personal or financial information by email, texting or any social media.
The IRS also does not ask for PINs, passwords or similar confidential access information for credit card, bank or other financial accounts. Recipients should not open any attachments or click on any links contained in the message. Instead, forward the email to email@example.com.
If you believe that you are a victim of this type of crime, report it to the Wake Forest Police Department at 919-554-6150.