WASHINGTON Oct 31 The U.S. Internal Revenue
Service warned on Thursday about a growing tax scam in which
fraudsters display an IRS phone number on the intended victim's
caller ID and demand money.
Particularly targeting recent U.S. immigrants, the scammer
typically tells the targets over the phone that they owe money
to the IRS and demands payment via a pre-loaded debit card or
wire transfer, the IRS said.
The victim's caller ID displays an IRS toll-free number in a
deception known as caller ID spoofing. For added effect, the
scammers often add background noise on the call that sounds like
an official call center. They may also send follow-up emails
from a bogus IRS address.
The IRS said there could be hundreds of instances of the
scam operating nationwide. "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," said IRS
Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel in a statement.
"We do not and will not ask for credit card numbers over the
phone, nor request a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer."
People who think they have been deceived by a caller ID tax
scam should contact the Federal Trade Commission, the IRS said.
(Reporting by Patrick Temple-West; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh
and Bob Burgdorfer)