Attorney General Laxalt Warns Consumers of IRS Phone Scams

December 1, 2015

Carson City, NV – Today, Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt warns consumers to be wary of ongoing and potentially fraudulent telephone calls from scammers posing as Internal Revenue Service (IRS) workers. These scammers often threaten suit or arrest for unpaid debts, and seek sensitive information and money from their victims.

    “It is important that all Nevadans be aware of unsolicited telephone calls from individuals claiming to be IRS employees,” said Laxalt. “Callers are often aggressive and relentless, and these types of calls have been intensifying in Nevada. Consumers should familiarize themselves with the tactics fraudulent callers commonly use to better avoid falling victim to these scams.”

      Scam IRS calls are often sophisticated and may appear legitimate and convincing. When an individual posing as an IRS agent calls, the caller ID may show that the call is coming from an IRS office. Additionally, the caller may use fake IRS badge numbers and already have access to sensitive personal information, such as the last four digits of social security numbers. The fraudulent caller initiates the conversation by informing the victim that a warrant has been issued for his or her arrest due to an alleged outstanding balance. The caller may also threaten deportation or the loss of a business or driver’s license unless the balance is immediately paid. The fraudulent caller may provide a separate phone number for the victim to call and make a payment or demand the payment is made using a prepaid credit card or by wire transfer.

        The Attorney General’s Office offers the following tips for recognizing these fraudulent

          • The IRS will not contact you by phone without first sending repeated mailings to your address on file.

            • The caller ID may appear from an IRS office. To confirm the call’s authenticity, hang up and call the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040 to speak to a representative and verify the debt. You may also visit the IRS website here.

              • The scammers may know the last four digits of your social security number as a result of an earlier data security breach. This information does not guarantee a caller’s authenticity.

                • The IRS will not ask for payment via a prepaid debit card or wire transfer, and will not ask for credit card numbers. Scammers typically prefer these forms of payments because they cannot be tracked.

                  • A second call may also be initiated from an alleged police officer or from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

                    If you suspect you have been contacted by a fraudulent IRS scam, it is important to take the following steps to protect your information and report the incident:

                      • If you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1-800-829- 1040. IRS employees can assist you with legitimate payment issues.

                        • If believe you do not owe the IRS or have not been sent a bill, call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366- 4484.

                          • If you believe you have fallen victim to this scam, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission here. Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments of your complaint.