IRS Tax Threats

You receive a telephone call from an Internal Revenue Service Agent threatening you with police arrest. What do you do?

Unfortunately, the IRS expects the rising trend in such tax scams to continue. Members 1st wants to help protect you from being a victim by sharing how these con artists operate.

The scam typically starts with an aggressive telephone call from a con artist individual posing as an IRS Agent. They may alter the caller ID on the telephone to make it appear the IRS is calling. They use a fake name and bogus identification badge numbers. The con artist threatens you with action such as suspending your driver’s license, taking legal actions against you, or having you arrested. The con artists may also inform you that you are entitled to a large refund. Common to all situations, the con artist will try to trick you into making some payment, often through a wire transfer or prepaid card. Or, they may try to obtain your personal information. They will sound convincing, sometimes hostile, always communicating a sense of urgency to their request.

Impersonation scams targeting consumers through emails and text messages are expected to rise significantly. Such messages may appear to come from the IRS or someone in the tax industry. The message contains a link which directs you to a site designed to imitate an official-looking website, such as IRS.gov. The site asks for Social Security numbers and other personal information. The site may also carry malware, which can infect your computer and allow the criminal to access your files or track your keystrokes to gain information.

Please keep in mind that the IRS will never do any of the following:

  • Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a credit card, debit card or prepaid card.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
  • Initiate contact with you by email or text message, requesting you provide personal information.

Any one of the above is a tell-tale sign of a scam. So how do respond to such threatening telephone calls? Do not provide any information to the caller. Hang up immediately. If you believe you are a victim of a tax scam, our Loss Prevention Team is here to help. Contact us at 717-795-5202. You should also report the issue to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at their web page, https://www.treasury.gov/tigta/contact_report_scam.shtml or by telephone at 800-366-4484. Over the last few years, there have been thousands of victims of tax scams, who lost a total of nearly $30 million dollars. We value our relationship with you and do not want to see you become a part of those statistics.


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