A rash of phony phone calls from skammers claiming to be IRS agents, who demand immediate payment of past due tax bills through pre-paid debit cards or wire transfers, has struck parts of South Jersey, including Egg Harbor Township.

Here's what you need to know to avoid being skammed, directly from the Internal Revenue Service...

“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,” says 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.”

The scammers are telling victims that they owe money to the IRS and it needs to be paid promptly via debit card or transfer. The caller gets hostile if the victim isn’t immediately compliant—threatening deportation, suspension or imprisonment.

Signs to Look For:

  • Over the phone—the IRS says tax issues are typically handled by mail
  • Urgent Tone—if the caller is threatening or insulting, then this is an indicator of a scammer trying to intimidate you
  • Demanding personal information—the IRS does not ask for pins and passwords for credit cards, bank accounts or other financial information

Beware of the Scammers Ability to:

  • Identify themselves with a fake name and IRS badge number
  • Recite the last four digits of your social security number
  • Send fraudulent emails supporting their claims
  • Use a toll-free number
  • Call back pretending to be the local police or DMV