Tax Fraud Is Real, Here Is What You Should Do
Tax filing season began Tuesday, with a warning from the IRS. Ten to twelve thousand calls are reported every week.
The scam calls start with a threat from someone claiming to be from the IRS demanding money. "You need to pay just $1,989.44," a voice on the phone says.
When CBS Justice Corespondent Jeff Pegues received one, he asked why the caller didn't ask him to send a check directly to the IRS. "At this point in time you need to complete the procedure outside of the courthouse, that is the reason," the scammer said.
Tim Camus is with the Treasury Department. He's featured in a new PSA released Tuesday warning about the fraud. "The safest thing to do so you don't get caught up in it is just hang up the telephone," Camus says.
The Treasury Department has received nearly 900,000 reports of IRS scam calls since October of 2013. At least 5,000 victims have paid out more than $26.5 million dollars.
One tip off is the phone call itself. If you actually do owe money, the IRS will contact you by mail first. So if you are unfortunate enough to get a scam call, just hang up.