TIGTA Cracking Down on IRS Fraud Scheme
WESLACO – As we move along through tax season, one federal agency is urging people to be on the lookout for calls claiming to be the IRS.
A Rio Grande Valley resident says he was recently bombarded by these types of calls.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration is currently investigating these cases.
According to the agency, people in the U.S. have lost approximately $64 million. Texas ranks first with $4.7 million in losses, making it the third highest state to be targeted.
Guillermo Vasquez tells CHANNEL 5 NEWS it started out as an urgent phone call.
“They said that they had an arrest warrant for me and that my property was being looked at,” he says. “It’s kind of scary. However, it just – I just kind of blew it off.”
Vasquez says as the calls came, the whole situation seemed off.
“I had just received my income tax, so I know they wouldn’t find me something if there was an arrest warrant or I owed taxes,” he says.
TIGTA says they’ve noticed calls from people impersonating the IRS in order to make a quick buck are on the rise.
They don’t target anyone specifically, according to TIGTA officials. They say auto-dialers are used to call people across the country, and these calls can be coming from anywhere.
In 2016, dozens of people were arrested in India on suspicion of posing as IRS agents. The following year, a man believed to be a ringleader in the ploy was also arrested.
Vasquez says these calls can seem scary at first with how demanding they are.
“I mean it ruins your whole day,” he says.
He says, for now, he’s glad he followed his gut and didn’t hand over any money.
TIGTA says the IRS will not call you and threaten immediate arrest or legal action.
Anyone receiving these calls should report them and any money lost to their website.