The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has reported that one of the most persistent schemes on their current radar involves scammers calling unsuspecting consumers and claiming to be with the IRS in order to extort money through scare tactics and threats of imprisonment. The IRS imposter informs the person that they owe money in back taxes and that they’re in danger of being arrested unless they pay the amount via credit card or wire transfer. The IRS scam accounted for one in four reports through BBB's Scam Tracker.
A recent intervention in India appears to have reduced the number of scam calls drastically, reported the BBB. The intervention included the arrest of 70 suspects and the closing of a Mumbai, India call center. Since then, Scam Tracker reported that the number of complaints from victims dropped from an average of 200 reports weekly to 11 reports, a decline of nearly 95 percent. The BBB claims the scam bilked millions of dollars from American consumers.
Another version of the scam involves the caller informing the consumer that they’re being issued a tax refund. The imposter will then ask for personal information in order to transfer the funds, thereby paving the way for identity theft.
The BBB offers the following tips to spot the IRS scam:
-The calls often begin with an official-sounding robocall recording. The scammer will provide a fake badge number and name. Your caller ID will often indicate that the call is coming from Washington, D.C., or Ottawa.
-You’re pressured to act immediately, before you’ve had time to think things through and verify the information. In reality, the IRS would always provide you with a chance to appeal what you owe. And their first contact would always be via mail.
-Scammers will ask for payment to be made by wire transfer, prepaid debit card or other non-traditional forms of payment, because these methods are untraceable. The IRS would never deal in these forms of payment.
For more information, please visit www.bbb.org.
To learn more about how to stop an IRS scam call in its tracks, contact our office today.
Published with permission from RISMedia.