Notice and Alerts

Telephone Scam on Taxes/IRS, etc

February 26, 2014

Off late we have been receiving reports from Indian Americans and NRIs about a sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, throughout the country. Victims are told they owe taxes and if they don't pay immediately, they would be arrested. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest/ deportation. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting. The call normally comes from a New York/Bronx caller ID number 347 559 0378 but the voice message asks you to call 202 754 8079. The caller talks about tax fraud/IRS and asks to press number 1 to avoid getting arrested.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here what you should do: If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at listed numbers in their website www.irs.gov. All such phone calls should be immediately reported to the police and people are suggested not to reveal any of their personal information to these callers.

 

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14-1079

The Secretary of State presents his compliments to Their Excellencies and Messieurs and Mesdames the Chiefs of Mission and has the honor to inform all missions of a sophisticated and aggressive phone scam that has been targeting individuals throughout the United States, including foreign mission personnel. U.S. law enforcement authorities, including the Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security, are aware of this scam, in which individuals fraudulently claim to be employees of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The following information is reported on the IRS’ website, IRS.gov:
 

About the Phone Scam
In this scam, the caller claims to be from the IRS, telling intended victims they owe taxes and must pay using a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer. The caller often threatens the victim with arrest, deportation, or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting. The callers who commit this fraud often:

  • Use common names and fake IRS badge numbers.
  • Know the last four digits of the victim’s Social Security number.
  • Make caller ID information appear as if the IRS is calling.
  • Call a second time claiming to be the police or department of motor vehicles. The caller ID again appears to support their claim.

Be Wary
Note that the IRS usually first contacts people by mail, not by phone, about unpaid taxes. The IRS will not ask for payment using a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer. The IRS also will not ask for a credit card number over the phone.

What to Do
Individuals receiving a call from someone who claims to be with the IRS asking for a payment should follow these guidelines:

  • If they owe, or think they might owe federal taxes, they should hang up and call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help with payment questions.
  • If they do not owe taxes, they should call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484.
  • File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at FTC.gov. Add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments in the complaint.

Fake E-mails
The IRS has also warned individuals of bogus IRS e-mails that scammers send to support the bogus calls. The IRS will never request personal or financial information by e-mail, texting, or any social media. Individuals should forward scam e-mails to phishing@irs.gov and refrain from opening any attachments or clicking on any links in those e-mails.


The Department echoes the IRS’ urging that all individuals be vigilant against the many different types of tax scams. The common goal of these scams is to steal one’s money and possibly steal one’s identity. More information about tax scams is available at IRS.gov.

 

Department of State,
Washington, June 10, 2014.

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