This happened to me yesterday, and I posted a warning on Facebook. I am reproducing it here to try to alert more people. If anyone has better luck reporting such fraud to the US government than I did, I’d like to hear how they managed it. As tax season is upon is, I think we can expert more of the same. These people have just enough information to scare the unsuspecting. Be careful out there.
The IRS advises the following:
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here’s what you should do:
•If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS employees at that line can help you with a payment issue – if there really is such an issue.
•If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes (for example, you’ve never received a bill or the caller made some bogus threats as described above), then call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1.800.366.4484.
•If you’ve been targeted by this scam, you should also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your complaint.
IMPORTANT NOTE: I called the 800 number above and heard the most ridiculously long voice menu ever about various tax-related problems (alert the press). None of the options pertained to phone scams. It was a legitimate number, though–only the US government could create a voice recording almost as long as the tax code. I’ll try to find another way to report the fraud, but I’m not optimistic. Just be careful.