IRS and Medicare Scams
BBB serving Nebraska, South Dakota, The Kansas Plains and Southwest Iowa is warning consumers to be on the alert for phone scams involving con artists pretending to be Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents who try to gain access to your personal information.
IRS impersonators are calling consumers and telling them that they are late on paying their taxes, and after
being probed for private information, like their Social Security number, are told to send the funds via a prepaid Green
Dot MoneyPak card or a wire transfer. Some of the calls come with threats of jail time, deportation, and suspension
of business or driver’s licenses. Yesterday, one consumer reported to BBB that he was told the IRS had mailed documents
to him, and since he had not replied, he was going to be arrested unless he remitted $9,000. Luckily, he
checked with BBB before sending the money.
The fake IRS agents have been known to use a computer program to make the real IRS phone number
appear on the person’s caller ID. Some of the scammers quote false badge numbers and use call centers with background
noise to make them seem legitimate. There have also been reports of callers having personal information, like
your name, address and Social Security number. In addition, threats and bullying are often used to try to extract
information, or they call back numerous times, trying to wear you down.
Other con artists, seeking personal information, may also say they are representatives from Medicare or the
Treasury Department. Seniors know that Medicare enrollment is open during this time of year, and callers use this as
a reason to keep their prey on the phone. The scammer may claim that new benefit cards are being issued or that,
because of recent changes to Medicare, they require information to update your file. Their goal is the same as those
claiming to be from the IRS to try to gain access to personal information that will allow them to steal your money,
health benefits or identity.