An elaborate scam has cost tens of thousands of taxpayers more than $1 million total. Elizabeth Prann alerted us this morning on Fox and Friends (video above), as the IRS warns people to be on the lookout for calls in which fraudsters claim to be from the IRS, then tell the victim that they owe money.

Recent immigrants are also being targeted, with the IRS saying the calls have been reported in almost every state. The scammers, in some cases, have the last four digits of the victim's SSN, and the IRS' toll-free number shows up on caller ID. In some cases, the target will also receive an email, purporting to be from the IRS, to further the scheme.

The caller then instructs the individual that the tax bill must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer, threatening arrest or deportation as a penalty.

The IRS emphasizes that if someone owes money, the first contact from the IRS is likely to come via mail.

"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,” said IRS Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel. “If someone unexpectedly calls claiming to be from the IRS and threatens police arrest, deportation or license revocation if you don’t pay immediately, that is a sign that it really isn’t the IRS calling.”

Read the full IRS warning here, which includes instructions for what you should do if you were a victim or believe you were targeted.


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