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  • Criminals Target Taxpayers Through Phone Call Scare Tactics, Claiming To Be I.R.S

    Many TurboTax online software users are unnerved by the outbreak of fraudulent state income tax returns being filed. However, con artists are still using traditional means to get taxpayers to away from their money – calling them on the phone and pretending to be the I.R.S.

    However, the Internal Revenue Service has repeatedly warned consumers that this technique. The criminals will call consumers, pretending they’re I.R.S. agents and claim the taxpayer owes money. They’ll threaten them with legal action or arrest unless a payment is made, either through wiring or the purchase of a prepaid money card and provide them with a number.

    Treasury Inspector General J. Russell George said the criminals are aggressive, cruel and persistent. In October 2013, his office had 290,000 calls about these incidents with close to 3,000 victims that have been scammed out of $14 million.

    Garrett Gregory, a former I.R.S. senior lawyer who currently as a Dallas tax practice, said the calls are prevalent with his office hearing at least once a week from people who are worried about these types of calls. He said the majority of folks know to hang up but they can still be nerve-wracking. Gregory said his own dad got a call last month.

    The criminals don’t care who they attack. A Federal Trade Commission lawyer said she received a phone call on her answering machine, saying that the I.R.S was trying to contact her because they planned to file a lawsuit against her.

    They try to come across as authentic using robocalling technology to spoof the caller ID system by showing up as the I.R.S. They may even know some or all of your social security number and will even provide a fake badge number. Some later calls are supposedly from prosecutors or local police.

    The I.R.S. said the call is the first tip that the entire thing is bogus, as the agency doesn’t correspond through email or phone calls… only through U.S. Postal service.

    What To Do If You Get A Call From The Fake “I.R.S.”

    If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the I.R.S., do not engage them. Don’t provide them with personal information and get their name (if you can) to add it to your complaint to the Federal Trade Commission. Hang up and report that call to the Treasury inspector general using their online form. This complaint form will ask you for a five-digit PIN. If contacted again, ask them to give you the PIN number.

    If you get an email about this issue, the agency will not send emails to taxpayers. The I.R.S. said these are phishing attempts to get usernames and passwords. Forward the suspected email to phishing@irs.gov and delete it.

    If you’re concerned you do owe taxes, call the I.R.S. at 800-829-1040.
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