Wisconsin Better Business Bureau: BBB warns of IRS scams

CONTACT: Lisa Schiller, Media Relations
PHONE: 414- 847- 6055

E-MAIL: [email protected]

Milwaukee, Wis. – The Better Business Bureau Serving Wisconsin continues to receive calls from consumers stating they received a call from the “IRS” saying they owe money which needs to be paid promptly. The BBB has also received calls from local accountants calling to report such calls on behalf of a client.
“Do not become a victim,” says Ran Hoth, CEO and President. “This is an aggressive phone scam in which callers use scare tactics in an attempt to get your money. They may sound convincing when they call, but it’s a scam. Don’t fall for it.”

The scam has been making the rounds throughout the country, including Wisconsin. Typically, callers use fake names, may leave “urgent” voicemail messages and use “caller ID spoofing”, which deliberately alters or disguises the identity of a caller.

Recipients of these calls and victims alike report that the scammers state you have unpaid taxes and demand immediate payment in the form of a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer. They threaten arrest, deportation, or loss of a business or driver’s license, if payment is not made.

Rosemarie Bosch of Rosie’s Tax & Bookkeeping Services, LLC, Franklin tells the BBB that she has received calls from clients of all ages since June.

“I’ve been receiving reports from clients saying they’ve received unsolicited calls from people with thick, foreign accents misidentifying themselves as being with the IRS and stating they owe money”, says Rosemarie. “They’re told that if they don’t pay up, there will be a warrant out for their arrest. I tell my clients this is a scam, they shouldn’t worry, and the IRS would never call them on the phone.”

Being called the “largest ever” telephone fraud scam targeting innocent taxpayers, the IRS has been posting warnings for months alerting the public about callers posing as Internal Revenue Service representatives in an effort to defraud.

The IRS will never call to demand immediate payment, or request payment without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe, It also does not ask for payment using a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer, and doesn’t make threats such as deportation or arrest.

Report IRS impersonation calls immediately to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484 or http://www.treasury.gov/tigta/contact_report_scam.shtml

Nominate a deserving Wisconsin business or non-profit for the BBB Torch Awards for Ethics.

When doing business, remember to look for the BBB Seal

For more information or further inquiries, contact the Wisconsin BBB at www.bbb.org/wisconsin or 414-847-6000 (metro Milwaukee), 920-734-4352 (Appleton), 608-268-2221 (Madison) or 1-800-273-1002 (elsewhere in Wisconsin). Consumers also can find more information about how to protect themselves from scams by following the Wisconsin BBB on Twitter, Facebook and You Tube.

ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2013, people turned to BBB more than 132 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 4.5 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org/wisconsin. The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for 112 local, independent BBBs across North America, as well as home to its national programs on dispute resolution, advertising review, and industry self-regulation. BBB Serving Wisconsin was founded in 1939 and serves the state of Wisconsin.