A scam involving con artists posing as Internal Revenue Service agents is spreading across South and Central Texas, the Better Business Bureau reported Wednesday.
Nationally, the IRS and Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration have reported receiving 90,000 complaints. An estimated $5 million has been stolen from 1,100 victims because of the scams, the Better Business Bureau said.
The consumer protection agency serving Central, coastal and Southwest Texas as well as the Permian Basin, with an office in San Antonio, said it received nearly a dozen reports of this particular scam last week. The scam occurs through telephone calls, but the IRS alerts taxpayers only by mail, the bureau said.
IRS impersonators call and tell consumers they are late on tax payments. After being probed for personal information, consumers are told to send the funds using prepaid cards or wire transfers. The phone calls come with threats of jail time, deportation and suspension of business or drivers’ licenses, along with other threats, the bureau said.
The fake IRS agents have been known to use a computer program to make the real IRS phone number appear on caller ID. Some of the scammers can even quote false badge numbers and use call centers with background noise to seem legitimate.
Reports have been made of the caller having personal information, such as the last four digits of a person’s Social Security number and address.
The IRS doesn’t request prepaid debit cards or wire transfer payments and will not ask for a credit card number over the phone, the bureau said.
In addition to disregarding calls even when the IRS appears on caller ID, the bureau advises consumers to not provide account or personal information over the phone. If they have any doubt, people receiving such calls should hang up and call the IRS directly, the bureau advised.
The IRS number is (800) 829-1040, or consumers can go to www.irs.gov. IRS workers can assist with payment questions.
The bureau said consumers should never trust callers who use threats and hostility.
Anyone who believes they have been targeted by this scam should report it to both the Better Business Bureau at (210) 828-9441 or to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at (800) 366-4484.http://www.mysanantonio.com/business/local/article/Scam-spreads-to-South-Texas-5778316.php As always, feel free to contact your CPAs at Akin, Doherty, Klein & Feuge, P.C. (ADKF) with any accounting questions you may have or if you have questions regarding an IRS communication. Call us anytime at 210-829-1300. READ MORE