Although the tax deadline has come and gone, scammers continue to use varied strategies to trick people, in this case students. In this newest twist, bogus phone calls from IRS impersonators try to convince students to pay a fake non-existent “federal student tax” and demand they wire money immediately to the scammer. If the victim does not fall fast enough for this fake “student tax,” the scammer threatens to report the student to the police.
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen urges taxpayers to remain vigilant and not fall prey to these aggressive calls demanding immediate payment of a tax supposedly owed.” Scam artists frequently masquerade as being from the IRS, a tax company and sometimes even a state revenue department. Many scammers use threats to intimidate and bully people into paying a tax bill. They may even threaten to arrest, deport or revoke the driver’s license of their victim if they don’t get the money.
As a reminder, the IRS will never:
- Call to demand immediate payment over the phone, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
- Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
- Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
- Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money and you don’t owe taxes, here’s what you should do:
- Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
- Contact TIGTA to report the call. Use their IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting web page or call 800-366-4484.
- Report it to the Federal Trade Commission by visiting FTC.gov and clicking on “File a Consumer Complaint.” Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.
- If you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040.