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Posted: 6:00 a.m. Thursday, March 27, 2014

Fake IRS phone scam making the rounds

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By Clark Howard

Just in time for tax season, scamsters are working overtime trying to get your money in a new phone scam.

The Internal Revenue Service reports sophisticated IRS impostors are calling people and demanding immediate payment, according to The Los Angeles Times.

The scamsters use phone spoofing to make their number come up as "IRS," and they already have the last 4 digits of your Social Security number -- both of which lends them an air of legitimacy.

Here are some of their other tactics to watch out for:

  • Use common names and fake IRS badge numbers.
  • Send bogus IRS e-mails to support their scam.
  • Call a second time claiming to be the police or department of motor vehicles, and the caller ID again supports their claim.

You're told to submit payment either by wire or by prepaid debit card. So far, 20,000 people have been swindled out of $1 million, according to IRS officials.

Know this: The IRS will *not* contact you by phone asking for money. They only contact you by snail mail if they want to get in touch with you. So if you get one of these calls, hang up the phone!

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