The CBS This Morning news program aired a segment this morning reporting a massive tax scam that’s going on right now which has already netted thieves $15.5 million.
Overseas criminals are calling cell phones of private U.S. citizens and using technology to show that the call is coming from the 202 Washington D.C. area code. The Thieves represent themselves as IRS agents, notify their victims that they are delinquent on their taxes and demand immediate payment or they’ll be arrested. They demand that the victim go to their bank immediately, withdraw money and purchase pre-paid debit cards. Once done, they ask for the debit card number and PIN in order to steal the money.
So far, 366,000 Americans have been called, fooling over 3,000 citizens into giving up $15.5 million dollars in one of the largest IRS impersonation scams to date.
No matter how you feel about the Internal Revenue Service, know this — The IRS doesn’t threaten people on the phone nor do they send threatening email messages and they never demand immediate payment.
If you have a tax issue, you’ll receive an official letter in the mail from the Internal Revenue Service, outlining the problem and giving instructions on how to respond.
If you receive such a call, hang up immediately. Do not converse with them, don’t give any information, and contact the appropriate authorities.
It also goes without saying that if you receive an email from the “IRS” or “Internal Revenue Service”, it’s a scam (no matter how official the email looks); do not click on any links or attachments. If you do, you’ll download malware that will most likely steal your personal and financial information.
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