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Warning: New IRS Phone Scam Targeting Houston

IRS Phone Scam
   

The IRS recently issued a warning to the public about a new IRS phone scam targeting both Houston and Brooklyn. This scam takes a new twist where the thieves pretend to be from the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS), an independent organization within the IRS.

Just like many other IRS scams, these criminals make unsolicited phone calls to taxpayers nationwide claiming to be from the IRS and often demanding immediate payment or personal information. In this particular scam variation, criminals are “spoofing” the telephone numbers of the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service offices in Houston and Brooklyn.

According to the IRS, “Calls may be ‘robo-calls’ that request a call back. Once the taxpayer returns the call, the con artist requests personal information, including Social Security number or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN).”

The TAS will never contact you out of the blue

The Taxpayer Advocate Service is an independent organization within the IRS designed to help taxpayers resolve tax problems with the IRS. They will never contact you unexpectedly. In fact, it’s just the opposite. YOU would get in touch with them FIRST to ask for help, and only then would they reach out to you for further discussions.

The scam variations are endless

The variations of these cons are endless. Some criminals may be abusive and hostile, demanding immediate payment of taxes via a debit card or wire transfer. Others may be asking for your personal information, saying that you’re entitled to a hefty refund. Some use fake names and IRS badge numbers to authenticate their impersonations. Others may spoof their caller ID to make their scam call appear to be from a legitimate agency or the IRS directly.

We want to stress that the IRS will not use the telephone, email, social media, or text message to contact you. They will not call you and threaten to lock you up if you don’t make an immediate payment. They will not call you out of the blue about an unexpected refund. Tax scammers will frequently send out notices via these platforms, pretending to represent the IRS. Don’t fall for it!

Here are five smart ways to identify IRS scam numbers.

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your team here at MGA. With IRS phone scams on the rise, we are here to make sure you stay safe and alert!

March 19, 2019