Scam Alert From AARP North Dakota: IRS Imposter Scam
February 8, 2021
Scammers impersonating Internal Revenue Service agents continue to con people out of their money. In a recent three-year period, the Treasury Department received reports of more than 1.6 million calls from IRS impersonators, with more than 8,600 victims collectively losing almost $47 million.
Con artists impersonating IRS agents have numerous ways to make the hoax seem convincing. They can trick caller ID to make it appear that the call is coming from an actual IRS office. They may even know part of the person’s Social Security number.
The IRS says scammers are increasingly turning to robocalls to reach as many potential victims as possible. But you can deter the phony tax collectors by following some basic precautions.
Here are two red flags: It’s a phone call. The IRS communicates mostly through the mail. The other warning sign is the person calling you demands immediate payment and threatens to have you arrested.
When you receive calls from IRS impersonators or other government impersonators, hang up immediately. Consider filing a fraud alert or freezing your credit with the three major credit-reporting bureaus if a scammer knows part of your Social Security number.
Never provide or confirm personal or financial information over the phone to someone who claims to be a government official.
Don’t respond to a purported IRS email or text message asking for your information. The IRS doesn’t do that.
Don’t agree to pay a tax bill with a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. Scammers prefer these methods because they're difficult to trace and can be used almost anywhere.
And don't be pressured or bullied. A scammer will issue threats and demands to get you to act quickly.
If you think you have fallen victim to any type of scam, call the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline at 877-908-3360 for guidance and support, or visit the AARP Fraud Watch Network at http://www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork.