Senate Aging Committee Warns Public of Persistent IRS Impersonation Scam
The IRS has long been the number-one reported complaint to the Committee’s Fraud Hotline
Washington, D.C. — With tax filing season upon us, criminals posing as officials from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are continuing their attempts to defraud taxpayers, with seniors as a particular target. U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Bob Casey (D-PA), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Aging Committee, are reminding older Americans about this scam that continues to be one of the most reported in the nation.
In this scam, fraudsters call victims over the phone, pretending to be an IRS agent, and demand immediate payment for allegedly unpaid taxes. The callers frequently threaten victims with arrest, foreclosure, or other adverse legal action. Scammers often instruct their victims to pay using a money wire or prepaid debit card.
“Scammers who prey upon older Americans are relentless and will stop at no end to try and steal their hard-earned livings,” said Senators Collins and Casey. “We urge older Americans to demonstrate caution to any phone call they receive from someone claiming to be with a government agency and asking for money.”
According to the Government Accountability Office, seniors lose an estimated $2.9 billion to financial exploitation and fraud every year. With such scams reaching epidemic proportions across the country, the IRS has released several tips to help taxpayers identify suspicious calls that may be part of a scam:
- The IRS will never call a taxpayer to demand that payment be immediately delivered over the phone, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed an official letter to the taxpayer.
- The IRS will never demand that a taxpayer pay taxes without giving him or her the opportunity to question or appeal the amount claimed to be owed.
- The IRS will never ask for a credit, debit, or gift card number over the phone or require a taxpayer to use a specific payment method for taxes, such as a prepaid debit card or gift card.
- The IRS will never threaten to send local police or other law enforcement to have a taxpayer arrested.
If you or a loved one receive an IRS Impersonation scam call, hang up the phone, and contact the Committee’s toll-free Fraud Hotline at 1-855-303-9470.