Internal Revenue Service is warning consumers about a
sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers throughout
Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid
promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer.
If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are
then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a
business or driver's license. In many cases, the caller
becomes hostile and insulting.
"This scam has hit taxpayers in nearly every state in the
country. We want to educate taxpayers so they can help protect
themselves. Rest assured, we do not and will not ask for
credit card numbers over the phone, nor request a pre-paid
debit card or wire transfer," says IRS Acting Commissioner
"If someone unexpectedly calls claiming to be
from the IRS and threatens police arrest, deportation or
license revocation if you don't pay immediately, that is a
sign that it really isn't the IRS calling."
Other characteristics of this scam include:
- Scammers use fake names and IRS
badge numbers. They generally use common names and
surnames to identify themselves.
- Scammers may be able
to recite the last four digits of a victim's Social
- Scammers spoof the
IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear
that it's the IRS calling.
- Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS
emails to some victims to support their bogus
- Victims hear background noise of
other calls being conducted to mimic a call site.
- After threatening victims with jail time or
driver's license revocation, scammers hang up and
others soon call back
pretending to be from the local police or DMV, and the caller
ID supports their claim.
If you get a phone
call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here's what you
If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes,
call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS employees at that line
can help you with a payment issue--if there really is such an
- If you know you don't owe taxes or have no
reason to think that you owe any taxes (for example, you've
never received a bill or the caller made some bogus threats as
described above), then call and report the incident to the
Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at
- If you've been targeted by this scam, you
should also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their
"FTC Complaint Assistant" at FTC.gov. Please add "IRS
Telephone Scam" to the comments of your complaint.
- Taxpayers should be aware that there are
other unrelated scams (such as a lottery sweepstakes) and
solicitations (such as debt relief) that fraudulently claim to
be from the IRS..
We encourage taxpayers to be
vigilant against phone and email scams that use the IRS as a
lure. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by
email to request personal or financial information. This
includes any type of electronic communication, such as text
messages and social media channels. The first IRS contact with
taxpayers on a tax issue generally occurs via mail.
The IRS also does not ask
for PINs, passwords or similar confidential access information
for credit card, bank or other financial accounts. Recipients
should not open any attachments or click on any links
contained in the message. Instead, forward the e-mail to
If you think you've been scammed, please call us right away at
301-657-8080. For more information on how to report phishing
scams involving the IRS, visit the genuine IRS website:
Financial Services at Sullivan & Company, CPAs
Grow leads our Financial Services Division and is here to
help you navigate your financial future. As an Investment
Advisor Representative, she is able to provide an
independent opinion on the investments you already own or
are considering buying.
We can structure a portfolio
based on your risk tolerance or we can help you decide how
to invest in your company 401(k) plan. We work with each
client to identify their concerns and to provide solutions
according to their situation.
is also experienced in company retirement plans. If you own
a business that does not have a plan; we can discuss your
options and set up a plan that fits your company.
If your business already has a
plan; we offer a free evaluation of the plan to ensure that
it is up to date and working well for you and your
Our goal is to provide personal, unbiased and independent
advice to help you make well-informed decisions about your
financial life and investments.
Contact Kathy Grow or Jordana Para to set up a free initial
consultation (301) 657-8080.
And as always if you have any questions about accounting or
investments and how they effect you or your business, please give
us a call at
(240) 316-3564. We
can help guide you in the right direction.
Remember you can call our offices if you have any
questions about these or any other accounting, tax,
financial planning or insurance related issues, at
Regards, Paul Sullivan, CPA
President, Sullivan & Company