Fake IRS Phone Scams on the Rise, Treasury Department Says

FILE In this April 13, 2014 file photo, the Internal Revenue Service Headquarters (IRS) building is seen in Washington. The IRS is cutting taxpayer services to historically low levels just as President Barack Obama's health law will make filing a federal tax return more complicated for millions of families. (AP Photo/J. David Ake, File)
FILE In this April 13, 2014 file photo, the Internal Revenue Service Headquarters (IRS) building is seen in Washington. The IRS is cutting taxpayer services to historically low levels just as President Barack Obama's health law will make filing a federal tax return more complicated for millions of families. (AP Photo/J. David Ake, File)

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — If the IRS calls you up and demands you pay back taxes right now using a card over the phone, hang up in their ear.

That’s the advice of the Inspector General’s office at the Treasury Department.

Officials say an IRS telephone scam has taken more than $14 million from nearly 3,000 victims in the last year and a half.

Investigators say the scammers will alter their Caller ID numbers to make it look like they’re calling from the Internal Revenue Service. often targeting the elderly and immigrants, the callers will demand immediate payment of threaten arrest, deportation, or the loss of their drivers license.

The thieves will then demand the victim pay up right away, often using pre-paid debit cards.

The Treasury Department says the real IRS will contact you first by mail. If agents do call, they will never demand payment over the phone.

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