BBB warns of IRS phone scam targeting taxpayers
LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) -- "I got a call from someone reporting to be from the IRS. They even provided a customer service number which they have to have," said Ronald Wonder of Clarksville.
Wonder works at a heating and cooling company in Clarksville.
He got the call on his office phone back in August.
"Calling them back, I spoke with three individuals with the organization all claiming to be with the IRS and threatened me with levies and tax collection efforts," he said.
He was immediately suspicious.
"They didn't get much further with me because I was certain they indeed were not with the IRS," said Wonder.
Wonder hung up and called his tax attorney. He went on to file a report to the IRS about the scam.
If you search the number online, similar scam stories pop up.
The Better Business Bureau says the scammers involved in these calls are tricking taxpayers into giving money by what's called spoofing.
It changes the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling you.
"It's this technology that people use. You can buy it for a cheap price on the Internet and they will make it look like they're calling from a particular place. It could be your local bank, your next door neighbor or the IRS," said Reanna Smith-Hamblin with BBB.
The BBB says these scams come in all forms. They sometimes send emails to support their fake phone calls. They could even come knocking at your door but the actual IRS won't do that.
"The real IRS sends you documentation in the mail," said Smith-Hamblin.
But taxpayers continue to fall for their tricks.
"If people didn't fall for it, the scammers wouldn't do it," she said.
"The IRS calls you and you're automatically in that fear mode like oh, I better do whatever they say and there's plenty of people that don't know that's not how they operate," said Wonder.
"It's an official name. People if they hear the IRS, they're nervous. They think it's a trusted source because is it the "IRS," said Smith-Hamblin.
WDRB tried calling the number given for the suspected scammers but got no answer.
Smith-Hamblin says if anyone calls you wanting your personal information, you should hang up the phone.
Copyright 2013 WDRB News. All rights reserved.