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.


Shaw Expands Resilient Manufacturing Capabilities, Adding USFloors Product Lines

Shaw Industries Group, Inc. has completed a $30 million investment to manufacture composite core LVT flooring in its resilient manufacturing facility in Ringgold, known as Plant RP. Shaw started manufacturing LVT in this state-of-the-art plant in 2016. This latest installation will manufacture Shaw and USFloors WPC and rigid core products by the end of third quarter this year. ... (click for more)

New Hamilton County Businesses

Here are the new business licenses from the County Clerk's office: AIR-TECH CHARLES  ABLES HVAC SERVICE 515 LUPTON DR CHATTANOOGA TN 37415 AMERICAN CONCRETE SERVICES ANDREW  SHANE CONCRETE CONTRACTORS 1788 E POINSETT ST EXTENTION GREER SC 29651 AMERICAN WASTE SERVICES   DUMPSTER RENTAL 10219 HWY 58 OOLTEWAH TN 37363 ... (click for more)

Government Paid Almost $181,000 In Social Security Benefits To Sewanee Man After He Died In 1988; Hawkins Charged With Embezzlement

The Social Security Administration paid almost $181,000 in benefits to a Sewanee man after he died in 1988, federal prosecutors said. The government learned in 2014 that the money designated to Walter Acton was going to a man living in his home at 3932 Jump Off Road - Edward Hawkins. Hawkins has agreed to plead guilty to embezzlement in the case. Prosecutor Perry Piper said ... (click for more)

Former TVA Engineer From Chattanooga Has Ideal Equipment, Venue For Eclipse Front Row Seat

A former TVA engineer from Chattanooga had the top equipment and venue for the solar eclipse he has been waiting 47 years to see. Bob Anderson, a graduate of East Ridge High and UTC, said he went to the library at the time of a partial eclipse in Chattanooga in 1970 and noted there would be a full one in 2017. He said, "I never dreamed I would get to view it with the equipment ... (click for more)

The Soul Of Chattanooga Is In Trouble

As a child growing up in the Chattanooga area, at an early age I became fascinated with the history that cloaks the city. In those days there was enough pollution to cover the town and its history but that didn't stop tourists from coming to visit Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge and the Chickamauga battlefield.     Chattanooga's leadership was not very far sighted ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Writing From Bragg Avenue

Far and away, my favorite comment on destroying statues appeared on my Facebook page the other day and, believe it or not, it was the clear-minded Times Free Press Sports Editor Stephen Hargis who penned, “This statue offends me! It must be torn down!” Underneath his fiery words, the long-suffered UT football fan posted a picture of the bronze monument outside of Bryant-Denny stadium ... (click for more)