A Treasury Department watchdog last Friday released public service announcements cautioning the public about IRS impersonation scams.
The scams rely on impersonators who either claim to be IRS employees on the phone or create fake official-looking letters and emails. They try to trick taxpayers into providing personal information that can be used for identity theft or send money via debit card, wire transfer, or gift card to settle fake tax bills.
“If you receive a suspicious phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, just hang up,” J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, said in a statement.
George said that as of March 31, more than 16,000 people reported losing more than $85 million collectively to people impersonating IRS employees.