People from all over the country are falling victim to an IRS phone scam which has recently hit Middle Tennessee, according to the McMinnville-Warren County Senior Center.
The IRS impersonators are calling their targets and demanding they pay taxes they don’t even owe by either loading money onto a prepaid card or sending it via a wire transfer.
Those who refuse to pay immediately are threatened by the “official IRS agent” with consequences such as jail time, a home visit by an IRS representative, loss of a business, or the suspension of a driver license.
In order to convince people they are real IRS agents, the scammers use several tricks including a program to make the IRS’s toll-free number appear on the caller ID, call center background noise, and false agent badge numbers. If the target is not already convinced, the scammer mentions the last four digits of the person’s Social Security number. Those who hang up on the caller may receive another call soon after from a scammer claiming to be a police officer or a DMV agent.
The BBB and the Internal Revenue Service have issued several warnings about this scam. The truth is, the IRS would never contact you by phone about unpaid taxes and would never ask for payment via a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer. A delinquent taxpayer would receive notice via U.S. mail.
Never trust callers who use threats and hostility to bully their targets into doing what they want.