Officials warn of scam where callers pose as IRS agents, demand payment

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Posted: Thursday, March 27, 2014 12:00 am

Nebraskans should be wary of a phone scam reported by the Internal Revenue Service as the largest of its kind. The scammers impersonate IRS agents and demand payment for taxes owed. Victims have reported threats of driver’s license suspension, arrest and deportation.

“My office has received 20 reports of this scam since January,” Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning said. “Calls may appear legitimate because the scammer has spoofed an IRS number for caller IDs. And, the caller often knows the last four digits of the victim’s Social Security number.”

The scammer also may contact the victim via bogus follow-up emails.

If the victim doesn’t quickly comply with demands, fraudsters may make additional calls claiming to be a member of law enforcement or a representative from the Department of Motor Vehicles, also with spoofed caller IDs.

Bruning reminds Nebraskans the IRS usually contacts people by mail — not by phone — about unpaid taxes. In addition, the IRS won’t ask for payment using a prepaid debit card or wire transfer, nor will it involve law enforcement or immigration agencies.

If you receive a call demanding payment for an alleged tax debt:

>> Don’t give personal information like Social Security numbers or banking information to unsolicited callers, regardless of who they claim to be.

>> Remember, it’s OK to hang up when unsolicited callers request personal information.

>> Verify any alleged tax debt with the IRS directly at 800-829-1040.

>> Never wire money or send prepaid debit cards to strangers. Once the money is sent, it is nearly impossible to recover.

>> Report any threats to local law enforcement.

If you or someone you know has been targeted by a tax scam, file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office at 800-727-6432 or www.ago.ne.gov. For more information, visit www.irs.gov.

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