IRS Warns Public About "Largest Scam of Its Kind"

Posted at: 05/06/2014 10:46 AM

Photo: Photo: MGN Online

(ABC 6 News) - The IRS is once again warning the public about a phone scam that tax officials are calling the "largest scam of its kind".

As of March 20, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration had received more than 20,000 contacts related to this scam. It also says thousands of victims have paid more than $1 million to those pretending to be from the IRS.

In this scam, the thief poses as the IRS and makes an unsolicited call. The caller tells the victim they owe taxes to the IRS. They demand that the victim pay the money immediately with a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. The caller often threatens the victim with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver's license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting.

The IRS says if you get a call from someone who claims to be with the IRS asking you to pay back taxes, here's what you should do:

If you owe, or think you might owe federal taxes, hang up and call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you with your payment questions. If you don't owe taxes, call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484. You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at FTC.gov. Add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments in your complaint.