People claiming to be agents from the Internal Revenue Service are calling people across the U.S. telling the people $5,000 is owed by them to the IRS. They caller tell the people they must pay right away or they will be arrested.
The largest tax scam ever related to the IRS is crossing the country during the height of tax season, said a watchdog group investigating the situation.
Impersonators of the IRS are making calls to taxpayers demanding they hand over hundreds of thousands of dollars of allegedly unpaid taxes.
They accuse the listener of tax dodging and warn that the IRS is ready to seize property, suspend their driver’s license, freeze bank accounts and cancel their passport until the debt is paid. The callers even threaten to blacklist the person’s name and put them in jail.
The men making the calls have been able to dupe people out of more than $1 million, said one person close to the situation.
There have been more than 20,000 instances, which is a record for scams, which have involved the IRS.
Reports of this scheme popped up across the country from Washington state to Delaware, which has caused concerns during the heart of the 2014 tax preparing season.
Investigators would not specify how many people they believe are involved in the sham, only that the script is not being shared by many. Investigators have been following a money trail however, they said it was too premature to determine where it was headed.
Investigators said the last time something similar took place was during the 2006 filing season when taxpayers were snagged by phishing websites who pulled their information.
The scheme is quite sophisticated as the impersonators have names, telephone numbers and the last four SSN digits.
Scammers also found how to spoof the caller ID systems so it looks as if the call is coming from the IRS and the emails look officials with logos that look genuine, with language that can trick people easily.