IRS scam

EPHRATA – There are more scam phone calls from people impersonating IRS agents during tax filing season.

At least a dozen Grant County residents have received the call this week alone from scammers posing as the IRS, claiming people own taxes and demanded payment using a pre-paid debit card. The scammers often threaten people with arrest, deportation or loss of a business or driver’s license.

“Taxpayers across the nation face a deluge of these aggressive phone scams,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen stated. “Don’t be fooled by callers pretending to be from the IRS in an attempt to steal your money. We continue to say if you are surprised to be hearing from us, then you’re not hearing from us.

The scammers often alter caller ID numbers to make it appear like the IRS or another government agency is calling, and may use IRS titles and fake badge numbers.

Since 2013, at least 5,000 victims have paid more than $26 million as a result of the scam, according to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.

The IRS reminds people they can easily know when an IRS caller is a fake. Here are five things the scammers often do but the IRS will not. Any one of these five things is a sign of a scam.

The IRS will never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
  • 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 a prepaid debit card.
  • 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.

For more information about the IRS, visit their www.irs.gov.