CAMICO has seen an uptick in calls from policyholders reporting that clients are receiving scam calls from individuals claiming to be Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents or Criminal Investigation Division (CID) agents. These scam calls are designed to get the taxpayers to respond and to divulge personal identity information.
This scam is incredibly simple and straightforward. The crooks pretend to be an IRS or CID agent calling about a problem with a tax return. There are several variations, including instances where callers say the victims owe money or are entitled to a huge refund. Some of the scammers can become very threatening and very abusive, threatening potential victims with arrest or even deportation. They may also claim that they can revoke a license or shut down a business if they don’t get the money owed right away.
CAMICO strongly encourages policyholders to warn their clients about these scam calls and remind them about the importance of not divulging personal or confidential information. Please see CAMICO’s sample “Client Notification Letter—Telephone Scam” under “Quick Links + Attachments” back on the policyholder email alert. You can also reference the sample letter on the Knowledge Tree on the Members-Only Site. Please navigate to the “eAlerts” folder and then to the “Telephone Scam” folder.
The IRS has noted a few patterns in these calls, such as:
- Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.
- Scammers may recite the last four digits of your client’s Social Security number.
- Scammers “spoof” or imitate the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it’s the IRS calling.
- Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS emails to some potential victims to support their bogus calls.
- Potential victims sometimes hear background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call center.
- After threatening potential victims with jail time or a driver’s license revocation, scammers hang up; others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or Department of Motor Vehicles, and the caller ID supports their claim.
For additional information on this telephone scam as well as other tax scams for 2014, you can reference the following resources:
Policyholders can contact CAMICO at 1.800.652.1772 or email the Loss Prevention Department at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.