IRS Tax Scam
Have you received a phone call from someone who claims to be calling from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), demanding payment for owed taxes and threatening to call the police to have you arrested in the event that you do not pay? You are not alone. According to a recent report from NBC News, there has been a surge in consumer complaints about scammers claiming to be federal investigators. To be sure, the recent rise in complaints suggests that this new scam tactic is among “the most pervasive in history.” All too often, these scams target members of the immigrant community.
Understanding Fraudulent IRS Calls
As the NBC News report explains, these scammers often call and claim that the recipient has only a short period of time to pay owed taxes before the police get involved. Why do so many people fall for such a scam? It does not have anything to do with a person’s intelligence or ability to root out fraud. To be sure, the NBC News report suggests that “many people fear the IRS,” and as a result, they “believe [such a call] may be real.”
Given the prevalence of these fraudulent IRS calls, the IRS actually released a fact sheet discussing the scam and the importance of recognizing a fake government agent. As the IRS fact sheet explains, “these callers may demand money or may say you have a refund due and try to trick you into sharing private information,” and they are very good at tricking honest people. “They may know a lot about you, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling.” In addition, “they use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers.” When they call and you do not answer your phone, the scammers frequently leave allegedly “urgent” messages attempting to convince you to return the call.
Learning More about What the IRS Will Not Do Can Help You to Avoid Getting Scammed
How can you avoid becoming a victim? The best way to avoid getting scammed is by learning more about what the IRS will not do when they need to contact someone. The IRS fact sheet lists the following as things the IRS will never do, and thus they should be indications that you are dealing with a scammer:
- Call you about taxes at all prior to sending you a bill through the mail;
- Call you to demand payment for back taxes;
- Demand that you make a payment without allowing you to question or appeal the amount allegedly owed;
- Require a specific method of payment for taxes owed (such as a gift card or a prepaid credit card);
- Ask you for personal information over the phone such as your credit card number; and
- Threaten police action, including your arrest, if you do not pay.
Contact a DuPage County Immigration Attorney
Scam calls from the IRS are hurting immigrants who often pay up. It is important for residents of DuPage County to be aware of this type of scam and to avoid losing money to a fraudulent debt collector. In particularly, given that these scammers frequently target immigrants and their families, Muslims in DuPage County who are also members of the immigrant community may need to develop a heightened awareness about how to identify these callers and how to avoid being victimized.
If you need assistance, an experienced Oakbrook Terrace immigration lawyer can assist you. Contact Farooqi & Husain Law Office today to learn more about how we serve members of the Muslim community.