IRS tax scams are proving to be among the most profitable crimes in history. Over $15 million has been collected from honest taxpayers who have been threatened with jail time, suspension of licenses, and other horrible consequences if they don’t pay up.
These fake IRS agents might even know the last four digits of your Social Security Number, making them that much more convincing. This isn’t a new revelation either, as it’s been going on since 2013.
One victim of the unfortunate abuse of the system lost half a million dollars, proving just how effective the tax fraud deception is.
It all starts with a harassing phone call from someone claiming to be an IRS agent, who demands you pay “what you owe” or risk severe consequences. They usually collect the money through a prepaid debit card or wire transfer, which should be a big sign that they are not legitimate.
The IRS usually only takes payment by check or debit at the U.S. Treasury, and never over the phone.
Even the infamous Nigerian scams use the same method of payment, but unlike the IRS tax scams, they convince you that you have money coming to you and it will cost to get the money through customs and such. Fake agents in this particular situation convince you that you owe them.
SCAM ALERT: Fake IRS agents target 366,000+ people demanding payments & threatening jail. http://t.co/cs2Llf82dh pic.twitter.com/nXUUNujC3v
— Ventura County Star (@vcstar) March 12, 2015
One of these scammers even contacted Timothy Camus, a Treasury Deputy Inspector General for tax administration, with the same threat. He knew better and told them off, “Your day will come.”
Camus told the Senate Finance Committee about the scam.
“The criminals do not discriminate. They are calling people everywhere, of all income levels and backgrounds. The number of complaints we have received about this scam make it the largest, most pervasive impersonation scam in the history of our agency.”
Kansas City News says that the system depends on call centers in India, making it seem that much more official. Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, also had something to say about the IRS tax scams.
“These criminal acts are perpetrated by thieves hiding behind telephone lines and computers, preying on honest taxpayers and robbing the Treasury of tens of billions of dollars every year. Taxpayers must be more aware of the risks and better protected from attack and these criminals must be found and brought to justice.”
Most of the victims are simply honest taxpayers trying to do what they believe is the right thing. One thing you can do to avoid being a victim of the IRS tax scams is when they call, visit the IRS website by clicking here and follow the instructions given.
[Image via Tweak Town]