We have previously warned consumers about IRS phone scams that defraud consumers.
Basically, the fraudsters call unsuspecting victims over the telephone impersonating an IRS official, and intimidate the recipient of the call to believe that they have an outstanding tax liability and telling them that if they don’t pay up, they will be arrested and go to jail. It’s quite a scary thought. And aren’t we all inherently afraid of the IRS? These fraudsters know this and take advantage of it.
Despite multiple warnings by the IRS, these schemes continue to victimize consumers and is estimated to have cost victims more than $50 million.
This week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a public notice alerting consumers that it is working with the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and together they are “committed to quashing the scam, prosecuting the individuals behind the scam and protecting consumers from future fraud and harassment.”
The notice reminds the public that impersonating an IRS agent and telephone fraud are both crimes that are punishable by fines and imprisonment.
The FCC reminds consumers that the IRS does not request payment of taxes over the telephone, and does not request payment on iPhone cards or gift cards or wire transfers.
This writer agrees with the FCC that consumers should not engage with these callers and should hang up on anyone calling claiming to be an IRS official. The IRS will not call you.
Beware of this scheme and others like it, and don’t fall for it. Don’t increase the profit for these fraudsters who prey primarily on the elderly. And on that note, spread the word to your family and friends too. We need to have each other’s backs to combat this scheme.