Impostor scams which occur when you are contacted by a scammer posing as an employee of any number of companies or agencies, such as the Social Security Administration or your bank seeking an immediate payment for a variety of reasons. For years I have been warning you about phone calls from scammers posing as IRS agents demanding immediate payments for unpaid taxes. These have been among the most common and most effective impostor scams. I continue to warn you about these scams because they continue to work. According to the IRS, thousands of victims have paid millions of dollars to the perpetrators of these scams. The form of the scam changes slightly from time to time. In a recent incarnation of this scam, people are receiving calls demanding payment of the non-existent Federal Student Tax. The scammers generally demand payment by credit card, wired funds or even iTunes gift cards which is a major indication that the call is a scam.
This scam is easy to spot. The IRS will never initiate communications with a taxpayer by phone so if someone calls you purporting to be from the IRS in an initial effort to collect overdue taxes, you should hang up because it is a scam. Even if your Caller ID appears to show that the call is from the IRS, this does not mean that the call actually is from the IRS. Through a technique called “spoofing” a scammer can make the call appear to be legitimate, but it is not. The IRS will never demand payment by credit card, debit card, cash card, iTunes gift card or wired funds in an initial telephone call. If you think that you really may owe taxes, call the IRS at 800-829-1040 to speak to a real IRS employee. However, as for the Federal Student Tax, there is no such tax. If you receive a scam call, you may wish to report the call to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484.
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