Nationwide Telephone Scam Aggressively Targets Taxpayers

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Attorney General Martha Coakley alerted consumers today of a nationwide telephone scam in which Internal Revenue Service (IRS) imposters aggressively target taxpayers.

According to Coakley’s office, the scammer claims to be from the IRS or another government agency or law firm, and calls victims informing them that they will be arrested, or a tax lien will be placed on their home because they did not pay or did not correctly file state or federal income taxes.

The scammer tells victims they must settle their debt over the phone and provide their debit or credit card numbers to avoid being arrested. If victims hang up, the scammer calls back stating they are police (with a fake name and badge number) and will arrest the victim if the payment is not made.

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The press release states that the scammer is usually “very persistent and aggressive” and may use some personally identifying information about the victim (like the last four digits of your social security number) to sound authentic.

AG Coakley said:

“Consumers should not be afraid to ask questions, say no, and simply hang up the phone if they believe the caller is attempting to perpetrate a scam.”

The press release states that taxpayers should know that the IRS or the Department of Revenue would never ask for credit card numbers over the phone, nor would they request a pre-paid debit card or a wire transfer.