Action Report: Beware of fake IRS phone calls

Action Report: Beware of fake IRS phone calls

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - An aggressive and sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers has been making the rounds throughout the country. Callers claim to be employees of the Internal Revenue Service, but are not.

They sound convincing and use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. They also alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling.

Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell says an elderly woman from Vancleave was a victim of the scam on Monday. She was scammed out of $2,300.

How can you tell if a supposed IRS caller is a fake?

The IRS says any one of these five things is a tell-tale sign of a scam:

Number One: The IRS will never call to demand immediate payment, nor will the IRS call about taxes owed without having mailed you a bill.

Number Two: The IRS will never demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.

Number Three: The IRS will never require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.

Number Four: The IRS will never ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

Number Five: The IRS will never threaten to bring in local police or other law enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

If you receive one of these phone calls, the best thing to do is hang up. If they call back and say that you will be arrested unless you pay the money, hang up.

If you know you owe taxes or think you might owe money, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you with a payment issue.

An IRS spokesman says the fake callers are using the latest technology and throw away phones. He says two people were recently arrested in Florida and another person was indicted.

Copyright 2015 WLOX.  All Rights Reserved.