Real Stories - Tax / IRS


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IRS impersonation scam: Fake tax debt

The scammers called my mother-in-law’s phone advising that they were from the IRS and that she owed $4,000 tax debt. They were very demanding and hostile. My mother-in-law has English as her second language and was very worried, as they threatened her saying the police were coming to arrest her. They demanded she go to a petrol station and purchase the gift cards. She purchased $3,000 iTunes, $500 Google Play and $500 Steam cards. They then sent WhatsApp messages to her requesting photos of the cards be sent, which she did. They then requested more money and more cards to which she declined and contacted family.

Signs this was a scam

  • The threats of arrest and request for unusual payment methods were the signs that this was a scam.
  • The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), government agencies and any legitimate business will never threaten you with arrest, or demand immediate payment of a tax debt or fine with unusual payment methods like gift cards, Bitcoin or pre-paid credit cards.

Avoid this type of scam

  • Hang up the phone or delete the email if you ever get a call or email claiming you will be arrested due to a tax debt. Do not call the number provided in the phone message or email you receive.
  • Hang up immediately even if you're concerned that the phone call may be legitimate — call the IRS at 800-366-4484 to check.

eFraud Prevention™, LLC