IRS: $1 million phone scam 'largest ever'

The Internal Revenue Service is being targeted by the largest phone scam in its history according to the IRS Inspector General.

Scammers are calling people claiming to be IRS agents and demanding money. 

People are ordered to pay with prepaid debit cards or through wire transfers.

J. Russell George is the IRS Inspector General. He claims the scammers are threatening people with arrest, deportation, and the loss of their driver's or business licenses. 

The IRS says it never demands money through debit cards, credit cards, or wire transfers.

Real IRS agents usually contact people first by mail and not by phone, according to the inspector general. 

He says 20,000 taxpayers have been targeted by fake IRS agents.

Thousands of victims have lost a total of more than $1 million.

He says people have been targeted in nearly every state.

The IRS says if you are targeted by this scam you should report the incident by calling the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1.800.366.4484.

People can also report scams online at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/#crnt&panel1-1

The IRS has put together a list of scams it is seeing this tax season here http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Releases-the-“Dirty-Dozen”-Tax-Scams-for-2014;-Identity-Theft,-Phone-Scams-Lead-List

 

Information from the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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