Imposters posing as IRS agents are trying to trick college students into paying a “federal student tax” – a tax that doesn’t even exist.
Students from many colleges are telling the FTC that the calls go something like this: the so-called IRS agent tells you that you owe a “federal student tax,” and often has some piece of information that makes the call seem legit. Sometimes it’s the name of your school, or another piece of information about you. The caller demands that you wire money immediately, by MoneyGram or another untraceable method. And, if you don’t act quickly enough, the caller might threaten to report you to the police. If you hang up on the caller, they might make follow-up calls with spoofed caller-ID information. So, while caller ID might say it’s 911 or the U.S. Government calling, it’s not. It’s all fake.
If you get one of these calls, what do you do? Well, first, know this: No one from the IRS will ever ask you to wire money, or pay by sending iTunes gift cards or reloadable prepaid cards. That’s a scam, every time. In fact, the IRS will never contact you by phone first. If you owe money for an actual tax, the IRS will send a letter first. So, if you get one of these calls, hang up. Never wire money or give personal or financial information to one of these callers. Report the call to the FTC immediately. And tell your friends at school. They might get the next call!
This article by the FTC was distributed by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.