Security & Fraud

Western Union Warns Of Fake IRS Payments Scam

Another fake IRS scheme has surfaced.

Western Union is warning U.S. consumers of a new, nationwide IRS impersonation scam occurring this tax season. The scam involves callers who claim to work for the IRS — including a fake caller ID that backs up its claim — and who even provide an IRS ID badge number and a fake name.

The fake IRS representatives tell the victims they owe money to the IRS and ask them to pay using a preloaded debit card or money transfer company. And if the person refuses to cooperate? The scammer is said to then get aggressive, threatening that their driver’s license or passport could be suspended.

“Awareness and education are the best tools we have in the joint fight against fraud,” said Dan Marostica, VP of Consumer Protection Compliance for Western Union. “Scammers try to use good people and financial services companies to steal money. Knowing what to look for is key in identifying warning signs of a scam and then avoiding it.”

“At Western Union, we are dedicated to fighting fraud and helping consumers protect themselves – the company proactively works with authorities, consumer-protection agencies and other organizations to help stop fraud,” he added.

To keep consumers alert about this issue, Western Union has released a reminder about five things the IRS will never do, including:

• Calling to demand immediate payment or call about taxes owed without first having mailed a bill

• Demanding anyone to pay taxes without giving the opportunity to question or appeal the amount it claims that person owes

• Requiring anyone to use a specific payment method for your taxes

• Asking for credit or debit card numbers over the phone

• Threatening the force of local police or other law-enforcement groups for not paying

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