TIGTA Warns Of “Largest Ever” Phone Fraud Scam Targeting Taxpayers

Monday, March 24, 2014
The Treasury Inspector General for Taxpayer Administration on Monday issued a warning to taxpayers to beware of phone calls from individuals claiming to represent the Internal Revenue Service in an effort to defraud them.
 
“This is the largest scam of its kind that we have ever seen,” said J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. Mr. George noted that TIGTA has received reports of over 20,000 contacts and has become aware of thousands of victims who have collectively paid over $1 million as a result of the scam, in which individuals make unsolicited calls to taxpayers fraudulently claiming to be IRS officials.
 
“The increasing number of people receiving these unsolicited calls from individuals who fraudulently claim to represent the IRS is alarming,” he said. “At all times, and particularly during the tax filing season, we want to make sure that innocent taxpayers are alert to this scam so they are not harmed by these criminals,” Mr. George said, adding, “Do not become a victim.”
 
Inspector General George urged taxpayers to heed warnings about the sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, noting that the scam has hit taxpayers in nearly every State in the country. Callers claiming to be from the IRS tell intended victims they owe taxes and must pay using a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer. The scammers threaten those who refuse to pay with arrest, deportation or loss of a business or driver’s license.
 
The truth is the IRS usually first contacts people by mail – not by phone – about unpaid taxes. And the IRS won’t ask for payment using a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer. The IRS also won’t ask for a credit card number over the phone.
 
“If someone unexpectedly calls claiming to be from the IRS and uses threatening language if you don’t pay immediately, that is a sign that it really isn’t the IRS calling,” he said.
 
The callers who commit this fraud often:
 
• Use common names and fake IRS badge numbers.
 
• Know the last four digits of the victim’s Social Security Number.
 
• Make caller ID information appear as if the IRS is calling.
 
• Send bogus IRS e-mails to support their scam.
 
• Call a second time claiming to be the police or department of motor vehicles, and the caller ID again supports their claim.
 
If you get a call from someone claiming to be with the IRS asking for a payment, here’s what to do:
 
• If you owe Federal taxes, or think you might owe taxes, hang up and call the IRS at 800 829-1040. IRS workers can help you with your payment questions.
 
• If you don’t owe taxes, call and report the incident to TIGTA at 800 366-4484.
 
• You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.FTC.gov. Add “IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments in your complaint.
 

TIGTA and the IRS encourage taxpayers to be alert for phone and e-mail scams that use the IRS name. The IRS will never request personal or financial information by e-mail, texting or any social media. You should forward scam e-mails to phishing@irs.gov. Don’t open any attachments or click on any links in those e-mails.

Taxpayers should be aware that there are other unrelated scams (such as a lottery sweepstakes winner) and solicitations (such as debt relief) that fraudulently claim to be from the IRS.

Read more about tax scams on the genuine IRS website at www.irs.gov.

Attorney Virgil Duane Parker Goes On Disability Status

 By Order of the Tennessee Supreme Court entered February 23, 2017, the law license of Hamilton County attorney Virgil Duane Parker was transferred to disability inactive status pursuant to Section 27.3 of Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 9. Mr. Parker cannot practice law while on disability inactive status. He may return to the practice of law after reinstatement by the Tennessee ... (click for more)

AAF Chattanooga Awards Competition Nets 3 Golds For ndp

The advertising agency ndp won three golds in the AAF Chattanooga American Advertising Awards 2017 on Feb. 18 for Universal Fibers and an agency self promotion. The agency won two golds for Universal Fibers, which offers finished yarns in both single colors and multi-end specialties. One gold was for a print ad touting their Aloe line of color, showing carpet fibers woven ... (click for more)

Inmate Dies At County Workhouse On Wednesday Night; Investigation Underway

An inmate died at the county workhouse at Silverdale on Wednesday night, and an investigation is underway.   Hamilton County Sheriff's deputies/CID were called to investigate the death of an inmate at CoreCivic (formerly CCA).  The inmate was transported to a local hospital and was pronounced deceased at that time.     The identity of the ... (click for more)

Walker County Will Not Seek Land For Durham Railroad Trail From Couple Who Sought To Block It

Walker County, Ga., under a new administration, will not seek to condemn land from a couple along a proposed public trail on the old Chickamauga to Durham Railroad. Former County Attorney Don Oliver, who supported the trail idea, in the waning days of the Bebe Heiskell administration went to court to condemn property in the name of Stanley Lowe and Jill Wyse at the community ... (click for more)

CVB Should Share Financials With The Home Folks

The recent debate over the Convention and Visitor's Bureau's funding and budget has gotten ugly. A Hamilton County commissioner has asked questions and made comments about the CVB. The director of the CVB has organized a campaign to dismiss the commissioner's questions and comments. The children on the playground are choosing sides and nothing useful seems to be happening. It's ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Ed Chief ‘Embarrassed’

At the start of the school year in September, Tennessee’s Commissioner of Education Dr. Candice McQueen held an “educational summit” with state legislators from embattled Hamilton County. The entire “summit” took a prescribed 90 minutes and was such a dog-and-pony show her strongest statement was, "Create your plan around the right vision, have some metrics and align to the right ... (click for more)