Attorney General Fox Warns Montanans of IRS Impersonation Scam
Today, Attorney General Tim Fox warned Montanans about aggressive and sometimes threatening phone calls from scammers impersonating agents of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
“Our Office of Consumer Protection is receiving a deluge of calls from citizens reporting they’ve been contacted by scammers purporting to be from the IRS,” said Attorney General Fox. “These callers are using the same tactics we warned Montanans about earlier this year: Basically, they come across as angry and aggressively hunt for your personal information, while demanding that money be wired to them immediately or a lawsuit or jail time will follow.”
Attorney General Fox added that while the scams are often carried out via telephone, they can also come in the form of an email. Nationwide, millions of dollars have been lost, and the IRS encourages taxpayers to educate themselves on varying IRS related scams, including the IRS Impersonation Phone Scam, by visiting http://www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Scams-Consumer-Alerts.
IRS scams typically work like this: Callers attempt to trick unsuspecting taxpayers into believing they owe tax debt and that they should make payments immediately over the phone. The callers even go so far as to tell Montanans that they will take legal action if the taxpayer fails to immediately pay taxes from previous tax years. The callers demand payment by credit cards, prepaid debit cards, or wire transfers. Sometimes, the callers leave voicemails for taxpayers to call back. Once the potential victim returns the call, the scammers go into their demands for immediate payment. The calls are believed to be originating from overseas locations and phone numbers are “spoofed,” making tracking the individuals carrying out theses scams very difficult.
Anyone wondering whether they owe previous years’ federal taxes should seek help by contacting the IRS Taxpayer Assistance Office at (800) 829-1040. Questions about state taxes can be directed to the Montana Department of Revenue at (866) 859-2254.
Consumers should keep in mind that the IRS doesn’t cold-call people and demand payment by phone. People receiving these calls should do the following:
1. Don’t provide any bank account or other personal or financial information to a person or company that you don’t know.
2. Don’t wire money to a person or company you don’t know.
3. Hang up.
4. If you think you owe taxes, call the IRS or the Montana Department of Revenue directly.
For more information on this and other scams, visit https://dojmt.gov/consumer/ or contact the Montana Department of Justice’s Office of Consumer Protection at:
P.O. Box 200151
Helena, MT 59620-0151
Phone: (800) 481-6896 or (406) 444-4500
Fax: (406) 442-2174
E-mail: [email protected]