Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Scam Alert: That Robocall Isn't the IRS

The FTC recently issued a warning about fake IRS calls that are tricking consumers into paying money they supposedly owe - but will only take payment via prepaid card or wire transfer. Here's how the scam works and how to keep yourself safe.

About the Scam
Scammers are spoofing their caller ID information to appear as if they are calling with the IRS. Once you answer the phone, the scammers tell you that you owe the IRS money, and that if you don't pay, you could be arrested. While there is some variation to the scam, one common thread is the demand for money to be paid using prepaid debit cards, wire transfer, or credit card.

How to Keep Yourself Safe
The IRS does not ask people to pay tax debt using prepaid debit cards or wire transfers. If you do have legitimate tax debt or another issue to discuss with the IRS, they will contact you by mail. The IRS also does not use email, text messaging or social media to collect personal or financial information. If you are worried about tax debt you owe, you can contact the IRS at 800-829-1040.

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Harlan Ellison