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). These callers are attempting to trick unsuspecting taxpayers into believing they owe tax debt and making payments immediately over the phone. The callers are even going 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 are even leaving voicemails for taxpayers to call back. Once the potential victim returns the call, the scammer immediately goes 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.
“This is by no means the first time our office has heard of this particular scam,” said Attorney General Fox. “This is a nationwide problem and now that we’re in tax season, these scammers are getting aggressive again. The good news is that being aware of these activities, you can protect yourself and your family from being scammed.”
Attorney General Fox said the scams are often carried out via telephone, but that they also could also come in the form of an email. Phone calls are currently sweeping across the nation, and Montana is seeing a spike in these calls. The callers often come across as angry and aggressively demand immediate payment in order for the taxpayer to avoid ‘prosecution.’ Nationwide, millions of dollars have been lost and the IRS is encouraging taxpayers to educate themselves on varying IRS related scams, including the IRS Impersonation Phone Scam, see http://www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Scams-Consumer-Alerts.
“Consumers need to know that the IRS doesn’t cold-call people and demand payment by phone. So if you get a call from a person who claims to be from the IRS and they are demanding money from you over the phone, you can hang up,” Attorney General Fox added.
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 receiving these calls should do the following:
1. Do not provide any bank account or other personal or financial information to a person or company that you don’t know.
2. Do not wire money to a person or company you don’t know.
3. Hang up the phone.
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 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]