Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) October 24, 2013
Scambook, the Internet’s leading consumer advocacy platform, is warning consumers about a recent phone-based tax scam generated by fake IRS agents who are demanding consumers pay alleged back taxes. The scammers threaten the victims with criminal arrest or other legal actions if they do not comply.
“This incident has been reported in Virginia Beach, but it's the type of scam that could happen to consumers anywhere,” says Scambook’s Director of Marketing Kase Chong. “The scammers use bullying tactics to scare the victim into paying these imaginary back-taxes or fees. They demand that the victim pay via pre-paid money card, and we'd like to remind consumers that this is a huge red flag indicating a scam.”
Regardless of recent technological developments and the IRS becoming more flexible with its payment methods in the past years, the organization does not approve of a pre-paid credit card as a means of payment.
To spot fraudulent offers and know the best defense against these types of scams, Scambook advises consumers to refer to the following tips:
1. Ask for ID: People who legitimately work for any government agency – IRS or police – should be able to produce identification. If they cannot produce such documents, do not talk to them until they can.
2. Learn Taxpayer Rights: People who owe taxes have rights, as published on the IRS website. The people running this scam are violating many of these rights – if the taxpayers are aware of their rights, they will see these violations as red flags.
3. Remember That Government Agencies Won't Ask For Personal Info via Phone. Any legitimate government representative will not cold-call consumers to request or verify any personal information or seek payment. If the taxpayer does have unresolved issues with the IRS, the IRS will notify them via registered postal mail before calling.
4. Screen Unknown Phone Numbers. For extra security, consumers may also purchase a phone equipped with voicemail or an answering machine to screen calls from numbers they do not recognize. This will also assist law enforcement as any messages left by the scammer may be useful evidence in an investigation.
Additionally, Scambook advises individuals to immediately call law enforcement officials when facing these fake government agents or anyone who makes threats of violence against them.
Scambook is an online complaint resolution platform dedicated to obtaining justice for victims of fraud with unprecedented speed and accuracy. By building communities and providing resources on the latest scams, Scambook arms consumers with the up-to-date information they need to stay on top of emerging schemes. Since its inception, Scambook has resolved over $18 million in reported consumer damages. For more information, visit scambook.com.