February 3rd, 2016

FTC Reports New IRS Tax Scam

This morning, I received a very strange automated call from an unidentified source (first red flag). The message requested that I call a certain phone number concerning a lawsuit (second red flag as no one is informed of an official lawsuit via phone).  According to the “caller”, the IRS was filing this lawsuit in county courts (third red flag as this is the wrong jurisdiction for the IRS).  After some due diligence, I come to find that this is the newest IRS tax scam reported by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

According to the FTC, the scam is to have individuals return the call mentioned above and are then told that they will be arrested if they don’t pay “purportedly” owed taxes.  Individuals are then told to wire money or charge the “unpaid taxes” to a prepaid debit card.  The scammers threaten individuals with deportation, loss of driver’s license, and more.  Some scammers even know personal information including social security numbers.

Everyone should take heed this tax season (and always) that identity theft and scams like this are on the rise.  Remember, the IRS will always first contact individuals by mail and will never ask for payment over the phone.  If a suspect call is received, individuals can file complaints using the FTC Complaint Assistant.