June 19, 2014 - New IRS Phone Scam Targets Unsuspecting Immigrants

We’ve all heard of various schemes and scams that aim to trick unsuspecting individuals to part with their hard earned money. Recently, reports that a new scam has surfaced which targets immigrants specifically by taking advantage of their fears of deportation.

In this new scheme a person calls immigrants claiming to be an Internal Revenue Service officer and threatens them with deportation, arrest, or having their driver’s licenses revoked, unless they remove money from their bank account, drive to Home Depot, and add money to pre-paid gift cards. For instance, one woman in South Florida was robbed of $6,000 earlier this month and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration has said that thousands of immigrants were victims of these types of scams. One man received a call from the scam artist, who said he was from an electric company and would turn off power unless they paid their “bill” in the next ten minutes. The scam artist also knew the family’s address and said he would come to their house after the immigrant pays to complete the “paperwork.”

It is important to note that the IRS does not have the power to deport immigrants and deportations are not reported over the phone. These scams prey on undocumented immigrants that are unfamiliar with the U.S. immigration/legal system and are paralyzed by a fear of deportation. Immigrants are warned to beware of these calls and are urged to report any such calls to the Treasury Department at 800-366-4484 or file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and add “IRS Phone Scam” to the online form’s comments.


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