CHICAGO, IL – November 5, 2013 – A phone scamtargeting taxpayers and threatening them with arrest, deportation or licensesuspension if they do not immediately pay money they supposedly owe to the IRSis the subject of a warning by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and the U.S.Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Payment is demanded through a pre-loadeddebit card or wire transfer.
“Wheneveryou are asked for personal or financial information, such as credit cardnumbers, be wary,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the BetterBusiness Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. "No legitimate businesses or governmentinstitutions will ever ask for this information over the phone or email. Thereal IRS will send you mail.”
Bernas stated the scammers involved in thesecalls are tricking taxpayers into giving money by spoofing the caller ID tomake it look like the IRS is calling and are sending emails to support theirfake phone calls.
Do not become a victim of a fake IRS phone call;the Better Business Bureau has tips to help you avoid getting scammed:
· Do not evergive out your financial information over the phone. The real IRS will not ask for financial information over the phone.Any contact from the IRS will be through direct mail.
· Hang up thephone. If you are being asked for personal and financialinformation by someone claiming to be an IRS employee, simply hang up.
· If you receivean email, do not click on anything within it. The emails that scammers send may include computer viruses that couldharm your computer or access personal information.
· Report theincident. If you are a victim of this scam, report theincident to the Treasury Inspector General for TaxAdministration at 1-800-366-4484. You should also contact theFederal Trade Commission and use their “FTC ComplaintAssistant” Make sure to add “IRS Telephone Scam” to yourcomments.
For more tips on protecting your identity, visit www.bbb.org
As a private, non-profit organization, thepurpose of the Better Business Bureau is to promote an ethical marketplace.BBBs help resolve buyer/seller complaints by means of conciliation, mediationand arbitration. BBBs also review advertising claims, online business practicesand charitable organizations. BBBs develop and issue reports on businessesand nonprofit organizations and encourage people to check out a company orcharity before making a purchase or donation.