What is being called the “largest ever” phone fraud scam by the treasury inspector general for the U.S. Tax Administration has continued to victimize individuals through the past few months. The Texas State University Police Department has tried to find the source of the fraud in San Marcos.
UPD began receiving calls on Sept. 29, after many claimed to have been victims of the phone scam. Victims reported that callers, posing as IRS agents and police officers, demanded immediate payment or face the confiscation of their personal property. These calls appear to be linked to a Texas State administrative phone line.
The callers appeared to have called from the phone number 512-245-8336. But these calls are in no way connected or have been generated by Texas State University in any way, university officials said. It appears this was just an attempt to acquire information as a part of the telephone scam. UPD continues to receive reports from new victims of this phone scam.
The IRS does not contact individuals of interest by phone before issuing a statement by mail first. If you have not been contacted by mail for any unpaid taxes, then the caller is likely part of the scheme.
Agents of this scheme will not use their real names or actual IRS numbers. They also may use falsified email addresses and caller ID information.
J. Russell George, treasury inspector for the U.S. Tax Administration, spoke on the issue through a press release, calling the scam “the largest” of its kind.
“The increasing number of people receiving these unsolicited calls from individuals who fraudulently claim to represent the IRS is alarming,” said George in a statement. “At all times, especially during tax filing season, we want to make sure that innocent taxpayers are alert to this scam so they are not harmed by these criminals.”
With more than 20,000 reported contacts, victims have together paid more than $1 million to the scam. Everyone should remain on guard and aware of the signs of the caller’s true intentions. Again, the IRS will not ask for your credit card information directly over the phone and will contact you formally through writing prior to any additional business.
Those who do owe federal taxes should not expect these calls. If you think you might owe taxes, hang up the phone and contact the IRS directly at 800-829-1040 to verify your payment options.
“If someone unexpectedly calls claiming to be from the IRS and uses threatening language if you don’t pay immediately, that is a sign that it really isn’t the IRS calling,” George said.
Anyone who has relinquished an immediate payment to this unknown caller is encouraged to report the offense to their credit card company, as well as to the local police in order to file a formal report.