IRS Phone Scams Still a Serious Concern for 2015 Tax Filing

 

This call was received at 10:23 a.m. ET and 11:39 a.m. ET in Tampa, Florida today.  The caller ID was “Unknown Caller” with this San Francisco, CA number, 415-829-9531.  The caller was “Officer Julie Smith” of the Internal Revenue Service. To hear the phone message, click on the arrow (play) on the bottom left of screen. — Carol Lim

As the 2015 tax filing season and Gasparilla season in Tampa are underway, steer clear of  real pirates on the phone. A warning and update from the Internal Revenue Service….

The Internal Revenue Service says aggressive and threatening phone calls by criminals impersonating IRS agents remain near the top of the annual “Dirty Dozen” list of tax scams for the 2015 filing season, IRS announced January 22, 2015.

The IRS  has seen a large surge of phone scams recently with the criminals threatening police arrest, deportation, license revocation and other things.  The IRS reminds taxpayers to guard against all scams and con artists during any filing season.

The IRS impersonators and phone scams generally target the elderly, new immigrants or people whose primary language is not English.  The scammers also have impersonated agents from IRS Criminal investigation, too.

“These criminals try to scare and shock you into providing personal financial information on the spot while you are off guard, ” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “Don’t be taken in and don’t engage these people over the phone.”

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) has received reports of around 290,000 people contacted since October 2013.  Nearly 3,000 victims have paid over $14 million as a result of the phone scam.

The Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers that the IRS will never:

1. Call to demand immediate payment, nor the agency will call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill

2. Demand you pay taxes with giving you a chance to ask about or appeal the amount they say you owe.

3. Require specific payment method, such as prepaid debit card

4. Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

5. Threaten to bring local police or law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

If you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS or asking for money, you can:

1. Call the IRS at 1-1800–829-1040, if you owe or might owe taxes.

2.  Report the scam phone call to TIGTA at 1-800-366-4484 or at http://www.tigta.gov

3.  FAX your  report to 202-927-7018.

Source: http://irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/Phone-Scams-Continue-to-be-Serious-Threat

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This entry was posted in Consumer Alert, Crime News - Tampa Bay Area, IRS Phone Scams, National News and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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