WASHINGTON, DC — Taxpayers are being warned about a new widespread phone scam. The Internal Revenue Service says people are calling claiming to be IRS agents and demanding payment for fake tax liens.
The callers are using a number with a Washington DC area code. The number 202-609-7070 has been frequent in complaints in the month of August. The phony agent usually has a heavy accent and tells the victim they owe money to the IRS. They say that if they don’t pay immediately then they will be arrested.
There have been 90,000 complaints to date about this scam. So far 1,000 people have lost an estimated $5 million dollars.
If you get a call that you believe to be a part of this scam, the IRS urges you call 1-800-366-4484 to report the incident. Visit the IRS’ website for much more information on this scam.
The IRS says that there a some typical signs of this scam. They include:
- Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.
- Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security number.
- Scammers spoof the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it’s the IRS calling.
- Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS emails to some victims to support their bogus calls.
- Victims hear background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call site.
- After threatening victims with jail time or driver’s license revocation, scammers hang up and others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or DMV, and the caller ID supports their claim.