Scammers are still posing as Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents or Criminal Investigation Division (CID) agents, making calls and sending e-mails regarding bogus problems with tax returns.   The goal of the scam is to get the taxpayers to respond and to divulge personal identity information.

The dialogue ranges from saying the intended victims owe money or are entitled to a huge refund.  In order to persuade their target to give up personal or confidential information, they are threatening arrest or deportation and may also claim that they can revoke a license or shut down a business if they don’t get the money owed right away.

If you are the recipient of such a call, it is imperative that you do not divulge personal or confidential information.  

The IRS has noted a few patterns in these calls, such as:

  • Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.
  • Scammers may recite the last four digits of your client’s Social Security number.
  • Scammers “spoof” or imitate the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it’s the IRS calling.
  • Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS emails to some potential victims to support their bogus calls.
  • Potential victims sometimes hear background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call center.
  • After threatening potential victims with jail time or a driver’s license revocation, scammers hang up; others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or Department of Motor Vehicles, and the caller ID supports their claim.

For additional information on this telephone scam as well as other tax scams for 2014, you can reference the following resources: