(PIX11) -- The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued a warning for a phone scam targeting American taxpayers, in which individuals fraudulently claiming to be IRS agents call demanding payment for fake tax liens.
The phoney agent, who usually has a heavy accent, will call or leave a voicemail saying the potential victim owes money to the IRS, and if it isn't paid immediately, they will be arrested.
"According to this man (who's [sic] words I understood slightly better), I was the subject of an IRS fraud investigation from my taxes from 2005-2012," one woman posted on a forum about the scam. "After I persisted in knowing why he called and asked what he thought he could do for me, he became aggressive."
The IRS says they have received 90,000 complaints to date about the scam, and about 1,000 people have lost an estimated $5 million from the fraud.
“Taxpayers should remember their first contact with the IRS will not be a call from out of the blue, but through official correspondence sent through the mail," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. "A big red flag for these scams are angry, threatening calls from people who say they are from the IRS and urging immediate payment. This is not how we operate. People should hang up immediately and contact TIGTA or the IRS.”
If you get a call that you believe to be a part of this scam, the IRS urges you call 1-800-366-4484 to report the incident.
For more information on phone scams and how to avoid being defrauded, visit www.irs.gov.