IRS scam fools taxpayers, uses intimidation

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Local residents throughout Kentucky and southern Indiana have reported receiving aggressive phone calls from people claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service. The callers claim to have the authority to file lawsuits against the victim or even call the authorities and have the victims put in jail if they don’t “pay-up.” While these calls may seem frightening, BBB has tips on how to know if the caller is actually a scammer.

First, the IRS will never call for collection purposes. The organization will always send a written notification if a resident has taxes that are due. Because they never call, they will also never ask for credit card, debit card, or prepaid card information over the phone. Never give this information out over the phone if you did not initiate the call!

Don’t fall for big incentives, either. If the over-aggressive tactic doesn’t get your attention (and If you haven’t hung up already) the scammers will likely switch

tactics by telling the victims they are likely to get a huge refund, making it easier for the victim to hand over the money.

More advanced scammers have many tactics they use to put their victims at ease. Remember to stay vigilant and know that the IRS will NEVER call for collection purposes and will NEVER ask for personal account information. Here are ways scammers can trick consumers:

* Provide fake IRS badge numbers.

* Spoofing IRS toll-free phone numbers.

* Recite the last four digits of victim’s social security number.

* Recite victim’s address.

* Add background noises of other scammers to mimic a call center.

There are a number of actions victims can take if they have received a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS. First: Hang up. Then call the IRS directly. If you do owe taxes, the organization can help you with payment issues. If you don’t owe taxes, or don’t believe you do, you can report the scam.

For payments issues, call the IRS at: (800) 829-1040

To report an IRS scam, call the Treasury Inspector General for Tax administration at: (800) 366-4484.

For more, go to bbb.org or call (800) 388-2222.