IRS warns taxpayers about a 'pervasive' phone scam

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - When the IRS calls, people pay attention. Now, the tax collection agency is warning consumers about a sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including immigrants across the country.

The agency issued a recent statement saying, "This scam has hit taxpayers in nearly every state in the country." 

Victims are told they owe money and that it must be paid through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If they don't pay up, they are threatened with arrest or even deportation.

Scammers will make caller ID appear that makes you believe the IRS is calling.  Again, the IRS stresses you shouldn't fall for it. 

The IRS website offers tips on what to do if you receive one of these calls.

-If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS employees at that line can help you with a payment issue – if there really is such an issue.

-If you know you don't owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes (for example, you've never received a bill or the caller made some bogus threats as described above), then call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1.800.366.4484.

-If you've been targeted by this scam, you should also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their " FTC Complaint Assistant " at Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments of your complaint.

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