Beware Massive IRS Phone Scam
Fake agents demand immediate payment
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2014 2:53 AM CDT
Updated Mar 21, 2014 4:30 AM CDT
The IRS says it tries to contact people by mail before calling.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – If an Internal Revenue Service agent calls you up threatening dire consequences if unpaid taxes aren't settled immediately, don't pay up—that's not an IRS agent on the other end. Tax officials say that in the "largest scam of its kind that we have ever seen," people have been bilked out of at least $1 million by the phony agents, reports CNN. The scammers order victims to pay up through a debit card or wire transfer, threatening them with arrest, deportation, or loss of a business or driver's license if they don't comply, says the IRS, which says its officials first reach out through the mail and don't demand immediate payment.

Halah Touryalai at Forbes was nearly taken in by the scam. She says a caller from the Washington, DC, area warned her that she had tried to "defraud the IRS, and that the government was now taking legal action against me including issuing a warrant for my arrest within the next hour." The fake agent, who became hostile when she asked how she could confirm his identity, told her that she had to pay $4,900 to cancel the warrant—and the payment had to be made by wire transfer because her bank accounts had already been frozen. Tourvalai says she was nearly scared enough to pay up, but she discovered it was a scam after reading a page on the IRS website.

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Showing 3 of 24 comments
Scotty G.
Mar 23, 2014 9:14 PM CDT
And if your local power company calls threatening to shut off your electricity without an immediate payment... that one is fake too. I laughed out loud at the man on the phone when he told me I needed to go buy a "moneypak" card.
ebola131
Mar 23, 2014 8:52 PM CDT
Offer to settle immediately....in gold. Tell him you don't have cash and invite the parasite over to collect. Then invite a few armed friends over and wait. If you catch 'em, tie "em to a tree, gag 'em, and shove his cell phone up his @$$. Lastly, tell him to call 911. III
WLeoB
Mar 22, 2014 6:22 AM CDT
1. People, that earlier comment by "WarmWeatherGuy" is so correct that we need a fair sales tax to eliminate the IRS. All of the incumbent members of our two ruling parties fear a fair national sales tax that would eliminate the need for the IRS. It would only take about 2% at all cash register sales nationwide to balance the budget in a hurry. All purchases, maybe excepting food would be subject to the low tax rate. Maybe 1% on large ticket items like cars and homes, but the actual rates per category could be worked out. 2. The IRS has become a tool to target individuals, groups, associations and companies to exact revenge and penalties. Remember the Clintons? Note that the incompetent socialist neighborhood organizer won a second term of loitering in our White House at least partially due to his IRS targeting of groups he deemed a threat to his party's agenda and policies. 3. However, It would take a large and serious ground swell of public discontent to get any action. Why? Because of the millions of high wage taxpayers that are getting exemptions because of their contributions to the campaigns of incumbents in both of our two ruling parties. The 10s of thousands of pages of the IRS code are not fair. A sales tax would be fair! From drug dealers paying cash for autos to Bill Gates, Sports heroes and actors buying mansions and don't forget the incumbent members of our two ruling parties that have also long since been millionaires. Peace, WLeoB, Canton, MI