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May 5, 2016

May 5, 2016
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The State College Police Department urges people to stay alert for scams involving the IRS.

IRS Scams:

Aggressive and sophisticated phone and email scams targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, have been making rounds throughout the country.  Scammers claim to be employees of the IRS, but are not. These con artists can sound convincing when they contact victims. The scammers use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. Victims are often told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid immediately, or victims are told they are owed a refund to try to trick the victim into providing personal information.  Here is some information and things to remember to help protect yourself from becoming a victim of IRS scams. 

Scammers MAY:

  • Know a lot about their targets before calling
  • Use Caller ID spoofing- A method that deliberately falsifies the telephone number on your caller ID to disguise the identity of the caller and help the caller to legitimize the scam by making the display read a name and number believable to the victim.   
  • Use fraudulent emails that display the IRS name or logo.  These emails are used to obtain personal or financial information or install malware on the victim’s computer.  When done over the internet this method is called “Phishing.”
  • Threaten fines, arrest by local or other law enforcement agencies, deportation or  suspension of the victim’s driver’s license if payment isn’t made immediately
  • Ask for unusual payment methods such as a prepaid debit card, wire transfer, iTunes gift cards or other types of gift cards.
  • Ask for personal or financial information including, but not limited to, credit and debit card numbers, checking/saving account numbers, mother’s maiden name, social security numbers and more.
  • Tell victims they have a refund due to try to trick them into sharing private information.
  • Leave an “urgent” callback request when the phone isn’t answered.
The IRS will NEVER:
  • Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card or wire transfer.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement agencies to have you arrested, deported or have your license suspended for not paying.
  • Use email, text messages or any social media to discuss your personal tax issue involving bills or refunds.
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, here’s what you should do:
  • Hang up immediately and DO NOT provide any personal information over the phone.
  • Call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.  IRS workers can help you with a payment issue.
  • Report the incident to the TIGTA (The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration) at 1-800-366-4484 or at
  • You can also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at  Remember to add “IRS Telephone or Phishing Scam” to the comments of your complaint.
If you know or think you may owe taxes:
  • Call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.  IRS workers can help you with a payment issue.
For more information:
  • Visit and search “scam” or “tax scams and consumer alerts” in the search box.  
  • On the taxpayer Bill of Rights, visit and search “taxpayer bill of rights,” in the search box. 
  • Visit to watch an informational video produced by the IRS about IRS phone scams

REMEMBER:  Scammers are always using new methods to try to con people.  Mail, fax and other methods may also be used by scammers and not every method is covered in this document.  Always call the IRS on your on to investigate the legitimacy of any IRS contact at 1-800-829-1040.

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