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New phone scam targets taxpayers

A new telephone scam targets taxpayers by threatening them with arrest, deportation or license suspensions if they don’t pay overdue IRS taxes by debit card or wire transfer.

The scammers impersonate IRS agents using fake names and badge numbers, and by calling from what sounds like a call site. To reinforce their threats, they often can recite the last four digits of people’s Social Security numbers, and in some cases, make follow-up calls impersonating local police or motor vehicle office staffers.

Protect yourself against this and other scams:

  • Call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 if you know—or believe you might—owe taxes. The IRS will never ask for credit card numbers over the phone, pre-paid debit card or wire transfer payments, or solicit personal or financial information via email.
  • If you’re certain you don’t owe taxes and/or received threats, call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484. You also should contact the Federal Trade Commission and use its FTC Complaint Assistant. Please add, “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your complaint.
  • If you receive an email claiming to be from the IRS that solicits personal or financial information, do not open any attachments or click any links. Instead, forward the email to

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