U.S. Senator Tom Udall, chairman of Senate Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee, which oversees the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), has warned consumers about a sophisticated telephone scam directed at taxpayers throughout the country.
According to the IRS, victims of this scam are told they owe money to the IRS, and that it must be paid immediately through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If victims of the scam refuse to comply with the caller’s directions, the scammers threaten victims with consequences such as arrest, deportation, or suspension of a business or driver’s license. Some of the scammers employ a practice known as caller ID “spoofing,” in which the call appears to have originated from the IRS. Scammers may also send victims emails from fake IRS addresses, corroborate the scam with additional calls pretending to be the police or Department of Motor Vehicles, or have personal information about their intended victims, such as the last four digits of a Social Security number.
Udall expressed his concern over these scams, and encouraged taxpayers to exercise caution when providing personal and financial information solicited via telephone or electronic media.
“Phone scams like these are becoming too common — scammers catch people when they’re vulnerable, con people using false caller IDs, and threaten and intimidate. As chairman of the subcommittee, and a former Attorney General and federal prosecutor, I will continue to work with the IRS to prevent these crimes,” said Udall. “Taxpayers across the country have been targeted. I encourage New Mexicans to be on alert. If you receive a call like this, report the incident so law enforcement can stop the perpetrators before they target others.”
Further information on the IRS recommended steps regarding this scam can be found here.