The latest the telephone scam is the “IRS Phone Call” from an IRS agent. The scam works like this: The caller who claims to be an IRS agent tells the person that he/she is an employee of the IRS and that he owes back taxes and must pay them immediately. The ” agent” then tells them that the victim must pay by wire, credit card, prepaid debit or gift card. The scammer goes on to say if these taxes are not paid immediately, they are risking losing his home, being arrested or even deported. According to Kiplinger Tax Letter (vol.93, no.7), Seniors and low-income individuals are the most at risk. (This scam is much akin to the “grandson” calling the grandmother (usually an older adult that has grandkids) that he is in jail and needs bail money to get out. Of course, the grandson is a scammer who pretends to be her grandson asking for some quick money.) Most of these fraudulent calls are perpetrated around April 15th- tax time.
The truth is that the IRS never makes phone calls stating that you owe taxes or that a refund is coming your way. The procedure is that the IRS contacts you by mail.
The latest scheme is for the scammer to file a fake income tax return with your private information and have the refund distributed to one of your accounts. Then the scammer calls as an IRS agent telling the victim that there was fraud in the tax return and that the victim must send the refund back to the scammer’s address or wire destination.(Business Insider, The IRS isn’t calling you-it’s a scam and here’s what to do if it happens to you, by Tanya Loudenback 4/4/18.)
Finally, if you do receive one of these calls, hang up immediately and call Department of Treasury inspectors at 1-800-366-4484 and file a complaint with the FTC at www.ftc.gov.