Sophisticated tax scammers using legit info to steal - WSMV News 4

Sophisticated tax scammers using legit info to steal

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Luis Garcia, IRS spokesman Luis Garcia, IRS spokesman

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - It's the biggest scam to ever hit the IRS and it's hitting big cities like Louisville especially hard. The tax agency is so concerned that a spokesman stopped by WAVE 3 News hoping to put a stop to this especially devious scam. When you hear it, you might be surprised how easily it could get you too.

Picture this: the phone rings. It's someone with your name and other important information, like the last four digits of your social security number who claims to be from the IRS.

"We're very concerned because these criminals are very sophisticated," said Luis Garcia, an IRS spokesman. "They're using spoof caller ID so it looks as if the person who is calling you is actually from the IRS."

Garcia says it may look legit, and the caller may sound like an agent with an IRS badge number and all, but the person on the other end of the line is up to no good.

"It seems legitimate so people will start talking with these criminals and eventually they start to turn the heat up and demand immediate payment," Garcia said.

The first red flag said Garcia is a call that becomes aggressive, the caller often using vulgar language. There's a demand for immediate payment, otherwise you'll lose your drivers license or, even worse, be arrested.

"If you don't comply, they will follow up with another call, another fake call with spoofed caller ID, from your local police," Garcia said.

Garcia said pay close attention to those red flags. The IRS may strike fear in the hearts of many, and these callers are counting on that.

"You're never going to get a threatening phone call from the IRS," said Garcia. No matter what you've seen in Hollywood movies or what other people have told you, IRS personnel will never call you threatening. They're certainly not going to call and threaten you with arrest by local police."

Garcia also said the IRS never accepts payment from a Green Dot card, a prepaid debit or credit card, and also will never take payment via wire transfer. It goes without saying, but the IRS won't send an agent to a gas station or other location to pick up a payment either.

If you get a call and you want to verify it's legit, call 1-800-TAX-1040. (1-800-829-1040).  To report a suspicious call, the number is 1-800-359-3898 or you can email by clicking here.

Copyright 2014 WAVE 3 News.  All rights reserved.

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