Beware of IRS Imposter Calls

September 23, 2015

Atlanta, GA - The Georgia Department of Law’s Consumer Protection Unit is warning consumers about IRS imposter scams.  The scam typically works as follows:   The consumer receives a phone call (or voicemail message) purporting to be “official” or “final notice” from the IRS. The caller threatens that the IRS will bring a lawsuit against the consumer if he or she does not call back immediately.   If consumers do call the number back the scammers will try to take their money by asking consumers to provide their credit card or bank account information, put money on a prepaid money card, or wire funds.  Consumers are often fooled into thinking the call is legitimate because the scammer may use software to make the caller ID show up as “IRS”.  The caller may even know the last four digits of your Social Security number.

Avoiding these scams is easy if you remember the following:

  • The IRS will first contact a consumer that has a tax problem via the U.S. mail; not via a phone call or email.
  • The IRS won’t threaten arrest, deportation or loss of a driver’s license.
  • The IRS won’t demand that you make payment right away.
  • The IRS won’t ask you to wire money, pay with a prepaid money card, or ask you to share credit card information over the phone.

If you suspect you have received a call from an IRS imposter, here’s what you should do:

  • DO NOT give the caller your financial or personal information.
  • Write down the name of the caller and phone number.
  • Hang up.
  • If you are concerned that you actually may owe money to the IRS, you can contact them directly at 800-829-1040 or visit www.irs.gov.
  • Report the call to the Federal Trade Commission (www.ftc.gov/complaint or 877-FTC-HELP) and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (www.tigta.gov or 800-366-4484).