AG Koster warns Missouri consumers to be aware of IRS scam calls

–consumers continue to report calls, even after tax deadline–

Jefferson City, Mo. – The Attorney General’s Office continues to receive complaints involving individuals impersonating employees of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), even after the tax deadline passed, and today Attorney General Koster is urging Missourians not to fall for the scam.

According to complaints filed with the Attorney General’s Office, the callers fraudulently claim to be with the IRS and claim the consumer owes a tax debt to the IRS or has an outstanding warrant against him. The caller threatens that the IRS is going to file a lawsuit against the consumer if they don’t pay the alleged debt immediately, or that federal officials will be outside the consumer’s door within 24 hours. These calls are scam calls, and consumers should not provide any information to these callers.

The Attorney General’s Office received 35 calls last week alone on the IRS scam.

This is the most recent iteration of debt-collection scams that have been prevalent in recent years. Scammers continually invent new techniques to try to fool people into giving out personal financial information or social security numbers.  

Koster offers Missouri consumers the following tips to protect themselves:

  • Consumers should never give out personal or financial information over the phone, especially when you do not know who the person is.
  • The IRS will not call and demand immediate payment.  The IRS, and other legitimate government agencies, will first send correspondence or a bill in the mail.
  • The IRS will not demand that you pay outstanding taxes in a particular way, for example, by prepaid debit card.
  • The scammers use caller-ID spoofing to falsify the information and disguise their identity.  The calls often feature a 202 area code, making it appear as though the call is originating from Washington D.C., but they may really be calling from elsewhere in the U.S., or even overseas.
  • The IRS and other legitimate government agencies will not exert high-pressure tactics to try to scare you into paying, such as threatening to have you arrested or to report you to a law enforcement agency.

If you receive a call you believe to be a scam, contact the Missouri Attorney General’s Office No-Call Hotline at 866-Buzzoff (866-289-9633) or file a complaint online at https://ago.mo.gov/app/nocallcomplaint.