Tax season may just be getting started, but tax scammers have already been hard at work.
In fact, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has gotten thousands of complaints about one kind of scammer in particular — IRS imposters.
Here’s how they work: scammers posing as IRS officials call and say you owe taxes. They threaten to arrest or deport you, revoke your license, or even shut down your business if you don’t pay right away.
They may know your social security number — or at least the last four digits of it — making you think it really is the IRS calling. They also can rig caller ID to make it look like the call is coming from Washington, DC.
Before you can check out the callers, you’re told to put the money on a prepaid debit card and tell them the number — something no government agency would ask you to do. Once you do it, you find out it was a scam, and the money is gone.
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