Warning issued on IRS phone scams

Phone scammers have been posing as the Internal Revenue Service agents, demanding money and threatening legal action.

As of April 17, the Indiana Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division reported receiving 467 IRS impostor complaints.

The scammer tells the person they owe money to the IRS and often the scammer knows personal information, like names and addresses. The scammer will then demand money and threaten a lawsuit or arrest in an attempt to scare the person into complying, the attorney general’s office said.

In other instances, people may be told to wire money or buy gift cards from supermarkets. They are instructed to call the scammers back with the gift card numbers.

“Hoosiers need to know the IRS never phones anyone demanding money or payment, nor does the IRS ever call individuals threatening legal action or arrest because of outstanding balances,” a news release said.

The IRS will never:

Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.

Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.

Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.

Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

Threaten to bring in local police or other law enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

The attorney general’s office says that if you receive a call from someone claiming to be with the IRS, hang up or don’t return the calls if the person leaves a voicemail.

Anyone who receives these calls can file a complaint with the Consumer Protection division at 1-800-382-5516 or by visiting IndianaConsumer.com.