Consumer alert: IRS impostor message packs extra scare

Bogus lawsuit advises consumers to go to local IRS office

By Mike Holfeld - Investigative Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - Veteran News 6 reporter Eric  Sandoval  said he recently received a fake IRS lawsuit message with a little extra intimidation.

“I panicked a little bit," Sandoval said. "I’m in the middle of doing a story in Marion County and I’m thinking 'Am I being sued by the IRS?'"

The call came from area code 209, one of dozens of area codes used in the IRS impostor scam.

Sandoval‘s message was from a  woman who said: “The reason for this call is to inform you that IRS is filing lawsuit against you.”

That part of the message is something News 6 has reported numerous times on Schemes and Rip Offs, but this message had a little extra flair.

“The thing that really caught me off guard was that they gave me the option to go to the IRS office," Sandoval said.

"To get more information about this case file, please visit your local IRS office or call immediately  at 209-949-3850," the recording said.

News 6 called that number Monday afternoon and found the line was no longer in service.

This is the tax season and variations of those IRS scams will continue, authorities said.

The IRS shared these tips:

If you don’t owe taxes, or have no reason to think that you do: Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.

Contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration to report the call. Report the incident on the IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting web page or call 800-366-4484.

Report it to the Federal Trade Commission using the FTC Complaint Assistant on FTC.gov. Consumers should add "IRS Telephone Scam" in the notes.

If you know you owe tax, or think you may owe tax: Call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help.

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