There is a new twist on IRS impersonation scams. Now scammers are not only pretending to be IRS agents, but they are also claiming to be calling from the Taxpayer Advocate Service hotline.
The fraudsters spoof the caller id so it looks like it is coming from the legitimate hotline number, specifically from the cities of Houston or Brooklyn.
Calls may also be ‘robocalls’ that prompt victims to call back. Once the taxpayer returns the call, they are asked for personal information including their SSN or ITIN, individual taxpayer identification number.
Like other impersonation phone scams, the fraudster will also demand immediate payment of supposed back taxes via prepaid card, wire transfer or event Itunes cards. They are often hostile and threaten the victim with jail time.
TAS has been set up to protect taxpayer rights and offer assistance if the taxpayer is experiencing financial difficulty or has a major dispute with the IRS.
The key red flag is that just with typical IRS impersonation calls, the TAS does not initiate calls with taxpayers. The taxpayer would need to contact the office directly.