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US Attorney, TIGTA Warn Over IRS Impersonation Scams

by Glen Shapiro, Tax-News.com, New York

14 October 2016


On October 11, United States Attorney Peter Neronha and Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) Russell George warned taxpayers that Internal Revenue Service (IRS) impersonation scam telephone calls remain a threat, amid reports that numerous individuals were recently arrested at a call center in Mumbai, India.

They said that taxpayers should continue to be vigilant and simply hang up the telephone if they receive a telephone call purported to be from the IRS demanding money or personal identifying information. The reported arrests do not eliminate the possibility that others may still be perpetrating or impersonating the telephone scam.

TIGTA has confirmed that, since October 2013, American taxpayers have been subjected to unprecedented attempts to fraudulently obtain money by individuals impersonating IRS employees. It has received reports of over 1.8m impersonation related calls with nearly 9,400 victims reporting losses of nearly USD50m.

"Seemingly everyone, including me, has received a call, or multiple calls, from a person purporting to be from the IRS threatening arrest or legal action in court unless money is immediately paid," added Neronha. "While it is good news that some are being held accountable for repeatedly seeking to victimize people across the country, we can expect similar calls going forward, because unfortunately this scam has proven to be successful in some instances."

"TIGTA is concerned that the recent arrests in India will not bring a total halt to the IRS telephone impersonation scams," said George. "Just hang up the phone if you receive a call purporting to be from the IRS where the caller states that to avoid arrest or a lawsuit, payment must be made immediately."

TAGS: individuals | court | compliance | tax | tax compliance | India | law | Internal Revenue Service (IRS) | enforcement | tax authority | United States | individual income tax | Tax

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