Michael Cohn, in a recent article from Accounting Today, reports that the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) issued a notice recently about the continuation of fraudulent IRS phone calls.
The inspector stated that while progress is happening and scammers have been prosecuted, the investigations are still a priority until all individuals associated with the fraud have been brought to justice.
While the October 15th tax deadline has past, it is important for taxpayers to continue to be suspicious of unsolicited calls from people claiming to be the IRS. The IRS will contact individuals first by mail about unpaid taxes, not phone, and will not ask you to use a prepaid debit card or a wire transfer. The TIGTA notes that the callers who commit this fraud often:
- Employ an automated robocall machine.
- Use common names and fake IRS badge numbers.
- May know the last four digits of the victim’s Social Security Number.
- Make caller ID information appear as if the IRS is calling.
- Send bogus IRS e-mails to support their scam.
- Call a second or third time claiming to be the police or department of motor vehicles, and the caller ID again supports the claim.
Since October 2013, TIGTA has received approximately 736,000 contacts, become aware of 4,550 victims who have jointly paid over 23 million dollars because of scams.