Fighting the IRS Scam One Auto-Blocker at a Time

Tax season is here and it’s all about the Benjamins, whether you’re getting them or giving them. Unfortunately, a rising trend in IRS scams has more people losing money to fraud than in years past.

According to the IRS, since October 2013, over $23 million dollars has been collected by IRS scammers – and that’s only from 4,550 victims. That’s over $5,000 each! As we enter peak tax season, the number of victims is only growing so be alert.

Thanks to the new Auto-Blocker in Whitepages ID, these calls should never get through to users. However, scammers can be slippery suckers and knowing what a scam looks like can help save you should one ever get through the line of defense. So let’s get educated, shall we?

Top Area Codes Associated with the IRS Scam

  1. 202 (Washington, D.C.)
  2. 509 (Spokane and eastern WA)
  3. 206 (Seattle)
  4. 360 (Western WA)
  5. 347 (New York City)
  6. 253 (Southern WA)
  7. 315 (Upstate NY)
  8. 832 (Houston)
  9. 914 (Westchester County, NY)
  10. 646 (New York City)

Five Ways to Identify an IRS Scammer

  1. The call may come through as “IRS”, “FBI”, “US Treasury”, etc.
  2. They will know your basic information but ask for sensitive information like your birthdate or social security number
  3. They will claim you have an outstanding tax balance
  4. They will demand immediate payment via credit card, prepaid debit, wired money transfer, etc.
  5. They may use scare tactics like threatening to call the police

These scammers may also leave urgent voicemails asking you to call back immediately. From our data, we know that over 17 percent of users return that call. During peak tax season, the average callback lasts about 26 seconds. Think of the last time you were cornered in a terrible conversation where all you could think about was a swift exit strategy and then you’ll truly feel how long 26 seconds can be.

Long story short: If someone calls claiming to be an agent with the IRS, hang up immediately. If someone leaves a voicemail claiming to be the IRS, do not call them back. The IRS has made it clear that this is not how they do business (thank goodness). If a scammer does ring through, report them through Whitepages to help further protect the community. 

Help us spread the word by talking with family and friends and caution them to be on the look out for this scam. Think of those most vulnerable in your life and help protect them. I can think of 5,000 other ways that I’d like to spend $5,000. I’m sure you can too.

 

Want the app? Of course you do. Easy peasy right here.

by Office Admin

2 thoughts on “Fighting the IRS Scam One Auto-Blocker at a Time

  1. Laura Stenger says:

    Thank you for making this system available. I have entered so many #’s into the white page reverse #’s so that I can report these punks. I hope that it is helping to track them. I get two to six a day regardless of not answering and/or asking to be taken off their call lists. I do admit, however, it is getting to be less. THANK YOU!!!

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