The United States Senate Special Committee on Aging reports that the top scam targeting seniors is the IRS impersonation scam. In this scam, seniors receive calls from fraudsters posing as agents of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). These criminals falsely accuse seniors of owing back taxes and penalties in order to scam them. While there are several varieties of the IRS impersonation scam, criminals generally accuse victims of owing back taxes and penalties. They then threaten retaliation, such as home foreclosure, arrest, and in some cases, deportation, if immediate payment is not made by a certified check, credit card, electronic wire transfer, prepaid debit card or gift card.
The IRS released the following tips to help taxpayers identify suspicious calls that
may be associated with the IRS imposter scam:
• The IRS will never call a taxpayer to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed a bill 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 or debit card number over the phone.
• The IRS will never threaten to send local police or other law enforcement to have a taxpayer arrested.
• The IRS will never require a taxpayer to use a specific payment method for taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
If you receive a suspicious call you can call the Aging Committee’s Fraud Hotline at 1-855-303-9470.