Based on an email notification I receiced from the Maryland Society of Accounting & Tax Professionals dated 08/14/2014, the “Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) has identified approximately 1,100 victims who have lost an estimated $5 Million from a scam where unsolicited phone calls are received from someone claiming to be from the IRS, demanding payment for tax issues”.

Based on the email notification:

  • “Scammers use common names and surnames to identify themselves;
  • May be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s social security number;
  • Spoof the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it’s the IRS calling;
  • Sometimes send bogus IRS emails to support their bogus phone calls; and
  • Even create background noise to mimic a call site”.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen stated: “taxpayers should remember that their first contact with the IRS WILL NOT be a phone call from out of the blue, but through official correspondence through the mail.  A BIG RED FLAG for these scams are angry, threatening calls from people who say they are from the IRS and URGING IMMEDIATE PAYMENT. This is not how we operate.  People should hang up immediately and contact the TIGTA” (1-800-366-4484) “or the IRS” (1-800-829-1040).

Additionally, it is important for taxpayers to know that the IRS:

  • NEVER asks for credit card, debit card or prepaid card information over the telephone;
  • NEVER insists that the taxpayers use a specific payment method to pay tax obligations; and
  • NEVER requests immediate payment over the telephone and WILL NOT take enforcement actions immediately following a phone conversation”.

If you or anyone close to you should EVER receive a phone call of this nature, whether you have tax issues with the IRS or not, do as Mr. Koskinen says: immediately hang up and call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 or the TIGTA at 1-800-366-4484.  If an email is received, NEVER open any attachments and forward the email to  PLEASE do not get caught up in this scam.