The Police Department in Roswell, Georgia has published a recording of an IRS scam call on its Facebook Page.
You can listen to the recording here:
Tax related phone scams are very common and target people all over the world. The version in the above recording is from a scammer pretending to be from America’s Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Very similar scam calls have claimed to be from the ATO in Australia, HMRC in the UK, and a number of other tax departments around the world.
Typically, the scam calls take the form of automated phone messages that falsely claim that your country’s tax department is taking legal action against you for unpaid taxes. Often, the messages will threaten arrest and imprisonment if you do not call back to sort out the problem.
If you do call back, the scammer will demand that you pay a “fine” to avoid arrest. They may ask for your credit card details to make the payment or instruct you to wire the funds via a money transfer service such as Western Union. In some cases, they may tell you to go out and buy pre-paid debit cards or even gift cards such as iTunes cards and then call back with the card numbers.
They may also trick you into divulging a large amount of your personal and financial information. This information may later be used to steal your identity.
Your tax department will never call you and demand that you pay an immediate fine via credit card, money transfer, or pre-paid debit card. Nor will it ever ask that you pay an outstanding tax bill using store gift cards.
If you receive one of these recorded messages, do not call back. If you are concerned, contact your tax department directly. But, do not use the number supplied in the message. Instead, find the contact number via the department’s official website or a phone directory.
Note that, while this version is a pre-recorded message, criminals also live-call potential victims and again try to trick them into sending money and personal information.