Scam of the day – May 26, 2016 – Five arrested in IRS impersonation scam

Earlier this week, five people were arrested in Miami and accused of impersonating the IRS and calling people on the phone, telling them that unless they wired money immediately, they would be arrested.  According to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) Jennifer Varino Nunez, Dennis Delgado Caballero, Arnoldo Perez Mirabal, Yaritza Espinosa Diaz and Roberto Fontanella Caballero swindled more than 1,500 victims out of approximately two million dollars using this scam.  Most of the criminals perpetrating this scam make the calls on their computers using Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) which is not only an easy and economical way to make the calls, but also is easier for hiding the origin of the call.  In addition, using VOIP makes it easier for the criminal to make the call appear to their victims’ Caller ID as if the call really originated with the IRS.

TIPS

This is an easy scam to avoid.  The IRS will never initiate a collection for overdue taxes by a telephone call.  In addition, they will never ask you to verify personal information over the phone nor ask for your credit card number or require you to immediately wire money to resolve the matter.  If you do get a call purporting to be from the IRS demanding payment of overdue taxes, you should just hang up.   If you believe you may indeed owe taxes to the IRS, you should call the IRS directly at 800-829-1040.  If you have become a victim of this scam, you should either report it by phone to the IRS at 800-366-4484 or report it by filling in the IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting form on line which you can get by clicking on this link.  https://www.treasury.gov/tigta/contact_report_scam.shtml