WFSU News · Tallahassee · Panama City · Thomasville
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
State News

Scammers Use Fake Numbers Disguised As IRS Calls To Target Consumers

MGN Online

The 2016 tax season is over but that’s not stopping fraudsters from trying to steal information. And new scams are getting much harder to decipher.

The phone rings. And the ID displays the caller—it’s the Internal Revenue Service. Except, as Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi says, it may not be:

“First, the IRS will never call you at your home and request personal information from you. The IRS will never ask you to wire money. The IRS will never ask you for your social security number—they know it.”

New tech is making it harder to figure out what’s a scam and what’s a legitimate call. The practice of disguising phone numbers is called spoofing. The tax season may be officially over, but people are still filing. The problem is so great, the IRS has a warning about it on their website.

Florida’s large population of retirees has made the state a target for scammers. 

“Consumers, people who haven’t filed a tax return have to be very careful, Bondi said. "Even if you have filed your tax return, someone could call posing as an IRS agent saying you owe more money. Never wire money, never give out your social security number over the phone. If you think someone is calling and doing that, hang up and call the IRS or the CPA directly."

The bottom line: Don’t trust, and verify. Tax season may be over, but that’s not stopped scammers from making targets. Very few people like or want to see the IRS pop up on their caller ID’s.