IRS warns of new phone scam - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

IRS warns of new phone scam

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WSIL — The Internal Revenue Service is warning of a new twist on an old phone scam.

The IRS says criminals are faking calls from the Taxpayer Advocate Service, an independent organization within the IRS, by "spoofing" their phone numbers. The automated message requests a call back. When taxpayers return the call, the scammer asks for personal information, including Social Security numbers and taxpayer identification numbers.   

IRS officials warn that the Taxpayer Advocate Service does not make unsolicited calls. The IRS will also never:

•    Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail a bill to any taxpayer who owes taxes. 
•    Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying. 
•    Demand that taxes be paid without giving taxpayers the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed. 
•    Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
•    Call about an unexpected refund.

For taxpayers who don’t owe taxes or don’t think they do:
•    Please report IRS or Treasury-related fraudulent calls to (Subject: IRS Phone Scam).
•    Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately. The longer the con artist is engaged; the more opportunity he/she believes exists, potentially prompting more calls. 
•    Contact TIGTA to report the call. Use their IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting web page. Alternatively, call 800-366-4484.
•    Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" in the notes. 

For those who owe taxes or think they do:
•    Call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help. 
•    View tax account online. Taxpayers can see their past 24 months of payment history, payoff amount and balance of each tax year owed. 

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