Deasy warns residents of IRS phone scam

HARRISBURG, Nov. 20 – State Rep. Dan Deasy, D-Allegheny, is warning residents of the 27th Legislative District of a persistent telephone scam in which taxpayers receive unsolicited calls from individuals claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service and demanding payment.

“My office has seen a significant uptick in calls from constituents receiving calls from fraud artists trying to scam them out of money,” Deasy said. “First and foremost, the IRS does not initiate contact over the phone.”

Deasy said anyone who receives a phone call from someone looking to collect money should always be wary, but especially if the caller claims to be from a government agency.

Additionally, it is important for taxpayers to know that the IRS:

  • Never asks for credit card, debit card or prepaid card information over the telephone.
  • Never insists that taxpayers use a specific payment method to pay tax obligations.
  • Never requests immediate payment over the telephone and will not take enforcement action immediately after a phone conversation.
  • Usually provides taxpayers prior notification of IRS enforcement action involving IRS tax liens or levies. 

Other characteristics of these scams include:

  • Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.
  • Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security number.
  • Scammers spoof 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 victims to support their bogus calls.
  • Victims hear background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call site.
  • After threatening victims with jail time or driver’s license revocation, scammers hang up and others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or other authorities, and the caller ID supports their claim.

If anyone believes they have been targeted by this scam, they should contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration to report the incident at 1-800-366-4484.

"We can expect more of these scams as the tax-filing deadline comes closer,” Deasy said. "Please keep your guard up and remember that the IRS is not going to call and ask for money.