Thousands Scammed by IRS Impersonators

More than 20,000 tax payers nationwide have been tricked by scammers claiming to be with the IRS.

The IRS Inspector General announced Wednesday it is the largest phone scam the agency has ever seen.

Scammers identify themselves as IRS agents, claim you owe money on taxes and say you could be jailed or deported if you don't send money immediately.

"I was so scared to talk on the phone, I passed it over to my daughter. It just didn't seem right," Shahanz, a Reston resident who was recently targeted told News4.

According to the inspector general, the scammers sometimes even have partial social security numbers of their victims. 

"Immediately, I called my husband and he said he had heard on the news there was some IRS scam going on," she said.

Some scammers can trick the caller by making their caller ID read "IRS." NBC News reports the inspector general's office is working with phone carriers to track the calls.

There may be no sure-fire way to protect yourself against scammers, but it's important to remember IRS agents usually contact people by mail, not telephone.

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