The Internal Revenue Service is warning of a phone scam targeting recent immigrants and other taxpayers.Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and must pay promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer, according to the IRS. If the victim balks, they are threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license, the federal tax agency said.
The scam has been reported occurring in Florida, although Plantation IRS spokesman Mike Dobzinski said he did not know exactly where. But South Florida is a high immigrant area and people should be on the alert, he said.
"We want to educate taxpayers so they can help protect themselves," said IRS Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel. "Rest assured, we do not and will not ask for credit card numbers over the phone, nor request a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer."
Usually, the first IRS contact with taxpayers on a tax issue is usually a letter, he added.
If you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 800-829-1040 to check.
If you know you don’t owe taxes and receive a scam phone call, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484.
If you’ve been targeted by this scam, you should also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their FTC Complaint Assistantdgehrke@tribune.com or Twitter @donnagehrke