Fake IRS agents attempt to cash in on taxpayers

State Dept. of Revenue urges people to hang up on scammers
Fake IRS agents attempt to cash in on taxpayers

A new con call to taxpayers could cost them, if they can’t pick out a scammer.

State Secretary of Revenue Richard Chandler said the IRS has picked up on the scam in the last couple of days.

Chandler said the con artists will call taxpayers, claiming to be an IRS or Wisconsin Department of Revenue agent.

The scammer will say the person on the line owes them tax dollars and ask for a credit or debit card number or a money transfer. Often, that criminal will threaten the victim with jail time or a driver’s license revocation.

“If they’re saying you’ve got to take action right now, that’s a red flag,” Chandler said.

Chandler said the fact that a supposed agent is calling for that kind of information should be enough to know it’s a scam.

“When we contact taxpayers, we do it through the U.S. mail. We don’t call them, we don’t email them. We initiate contact through the U.S. mail,” Chandler said. “Then they get back in touch with us so they know that they’re dealing with the government agency that is the real agency and not somebody who claims to be from our agency.”

Chandler said with modern technology, crooks are constantly finding new ways to trick people out of their money, so he said people should be vigilant about hanging up on this kind of call and reporting it to the DOR.

“These people are often very hard to track down because they’re operating from unknown locations and it’s not easy to find them. So often, the best thing to do is try to prevent the fraud from ever occurring in the first place,” Chandler said.

To file a report, you can call the DOR’s customer service bureau at 608-266-2772 or visit revenue.wi.gov for more information.