Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting.
Note that the IRS will never:
Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without sending documentation through the U.S. Mail first.
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 prepaid debit cards, gift cards, etc.
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.
Email Phishing Scam: “Update your IRS e-file”
These emails contain the direction “you are to update your IRS e-file immediately.” The emails mention USA.gov and IRSgov (without a dot between “IRS” and “gov”), though notably, not IRS.gov (with a dot). . These emails are not from the IRS. Taxpayers who get these messages should not respond to the email or click on the links. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information.
IRS Telephone Assistance for Individuals (Toll-Free): 800-829-1040
NEVER give any personal information (i.e.: DOB, SSN, Banking or Credit Card info) to ANYONE that calls you or sends an unsolicited email.
Other telephone/email scams could involve lotteries, relatives in jail (requiring bail), relatives in accidents (needing money for medical expenses), and miscellaneous charities.
Don’t be afraid to check the source (lottery sponsor, police department/county jail, charitable organization.
If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is.