IRS Warning Consumers About Sophisticated Phone Scam That Targets Immigrants

Nov 01, 2013 -- 6:31am

The IRS is warning consumers about a sophisticated and increasingly common phone scam that particularly targets immigrants.

Victims are told over the phone that they owe money to the IRS, and that money must be paid promptly with a pre-loaded debit card or a wire transfer. If the person receiving the call refuses to cooperate, they’re threatened with arrest, deportation or a suspension of a business or driver’s license. The caller often becomes hostile and insulting. The IRS says the scam has been reported in nearly every state.

The scammers are using fake names and IRS Badge numbers, and generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves. They may be able to recite the last four numbers of a person’s Social Security number. Bogus IRS e-mails may also be sent, and the IRS’ toll-free number is spoofed on caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling.

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