Consumer Alert re: IRS Fraud

Recently, I had a distraught friend telephone me and say that the IRS called him demanding immediate payment on his taxes or the police would come to put him in jail.

I did some investigating and discovered that recently, there have been scam artists who call people and pretend to be representatives from the IRS.  Victims are told they owe money to the IRS which must be paid immediately through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting.

The IRS issued a warning to the public about this new fraud in a press release:

“This scam has hit taxpayers in nearly every state in the country.  We want to educate taxpayers so they can help protect themselves.  Rest assured, we do not and will not ask for credit card numbers over the phone, nor request a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer,” says IRS Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel. “If someone unexpectedly calls claiming to be from the IRS and threatens police arrest, deportation or license revocation if you don’t pay immediately, that is a sign that it really isn’t the IRS calling.” Werfel noted that the first IRS contact with taxpayers on a tax issue is likely to occur via mail.”

The full IRS press release is at: http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Warns-of-Pervasive-Telephone-Scam

If you feel that you are a victim of this fraud, please call my office immediately so I can advise you on how to handle your situation.