LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — It’s being called the largest IRS phone fraud scam targeting taxpayers ever.
KNX 1070’s Charles Feldman reports he was the latest would-be victim in a scheme that involves threats to arrest individuals who refuse to pay alleged tax debts.
The city of Ventura Police Department first released a public alert in October to advise the public of the scam, in which authorities say a caller typically claims an individual owes back taxes and demands immediate payment, typically via wire or pre-paid credit card.
If payment is not made, the caller threatens to have authorities arrest the individual for non-payment, according to police.
In order to further deceive callers, police say the scammers may also be “spoofing” phone numbers to have the Caller ID number appear as though the call is coming from the Washington, D.C., area.
Callers are frequently insulting or hostile and do so in an apparent attempt to scare their potential victim, according to police.
IRS spokeswoman Anabel Marquez said the scheme has quickly gone viral across the nation.
“This scam is very sophisticated,” said Marquez. “Scammers are even using fake names and fake IRS badge numbers.”
Anyone targeted by this or other similar scams is asked to report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at (800) 366-4484.
Individuals may also file a complaint using the FTC Complaint Assistant by choosing “Imposter Scams” and including the words “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.