IRS Reiterates Warning of Pervasive Telephone Scam
IR-2014-53, April 14, 2014
WASHINGTON — As the 2014 filing season nears an end, the Internal Revenue
Service today issued another strong warning for consumers to guard against
sophisticated and aggressive phone scams targeting taxpayers, including recent
immigrants, as reported incidents of this crime continue to rise nationwide.
These scams won’t likely end with the filing season so the IRS urges everyone to
remain on guard.
The IRS will always send taxpayers a written notification of any tax due via
the U.S. mail. The IRS never asks for credit card, debit card or prepaid card
information over the telephone. For more information or to report a scam, go to
www.irs.gov and type "scam" in the search box.
People have reported a particularly aggressive phone scam in the last several
months. Immigrants are frequently targeted. Potential victims are threatened
with deportation, arrest, having their utilities shut off, or having their
driver’s licenses revoked. Callers are frequently insulting or hostile -
apparently to scare their potential victims.
Potential victims may be told they are entitled to big refunds, or that they
owe money that must be paid immediately to the IRS. When unsuccessful the first
time, sometimes phone scammers call back trying a new strategy.
Other characteristics of this scam include:
- Scammers use fake names and IRS
badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify
- Scammers may be able to recite the last four
digits of a victim’s Social Security number.
- Scammers spoof 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
victims to support their bogus calls.
- Victims hear background noise of other calls being
conducted to mimic a call site.
- After threatening victims with
jail time or driver’s license revocation, scammers hang up and others soon call
back pretending to be from the local police or DMV, and the caller ID supports
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here’s what
you should do:
- If you know you owe taxes or you
think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS employees at
that line can help you with a payment issue, if there really is such an
- If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason
to think that you owe any taxes (for example, you’ve never received a bill or
the caller made some bogus threats as described above), then call and report the
incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at
- You can file a complaint using
the FTC Complaint Assistant; choose “Other” and then
“Imposter Scams.” If the complaint involves someone impersonating the IRS,
include the words “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.
Taxpayers should be aware that there are other unrelated scams (such as a
lottery sweepstakes) and solicitations (such as debt relief) that fraudulently
claim to be from the IRS.
The IRS encourages taxpayers to be vigilant against phone and email scams
that use the IRS as a lure. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by
email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of
electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels. The
IRS also does not ask for PINs, passwords or similar confidential access
information for credit card, bank or other financial accounts. Recipients should
not open any attachments or click on any links contained in the message.
Instead, forward the e-mail to email@example.com.
More information on how to report phishing scams involving the IRS is
available on the genuine IRS website, IRS.gov.
Boonton Township man Arrested for Child Pornography
NEWARK, N.J. – A Boonton, New Jersey, man today admitted using a computer in his home to download images of child sexual abuse, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Lucas J. Reinmann, 35, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton to an information charging him with one count of knowingly receiving images of child pornography over the internet.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Reinmann admitted that he downloaded images and videos of child sexual abuse from the internet to his computer using a peer-to-peer file sharing network. He also admitted possessing more than 600 images of child sexual abuse on his computers and USB drives, which were seized from his residence in July 2013.
The count to which Reinmann pleaded guilty carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison, followed by a mandatory minimum of five years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for April 20, 2015.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Newark Division, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge John P. Woods; the Morris County Prosecutors Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp; and the Boonton Township Police Department, under the direction of Chief Paul C. Fortunato with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara F. Merin of the U.S. Attorney’s Office OCDETF Unit in Newark.