The Internal Revenue Service is warning all taxpayers about a massive telephone scam being committed by a ring of professional criminals claiming to be IRS Agents.  It is of the utmost importance that all taxpayers be suspicious of any unsolicited telephone calls from individuals claiming to Internal Revenue Service agents.  Usually, the IRS does NOT call taxpayers, rather the IRS will mail a notice.

J. Russell George, Treasury Inspector General For Tax Administration said "this scam, which is international in nature, has proven to be the largest scam of its kind that we have seen".  These professional criminals are "aggressive, relentless and ruthless".  Once they have you on the telepnone, they will stop at nothing to con you out of your money.  These criminals intimidate their victims with the fear of immediate arrest, deportation or the loss of their business, unless the victim pays a large sum.  The criminals demand payment by either a prepaid debit card, money order or wire transfer.

Recently, one of the ring leaders was caught, tried, convicted and sentenced to fourteen years in federal prison.  The continued investigation into this criminal gang is a "high investigative priority" for the IRS.  Thus far, the IRS has received over nine hundred thousand (900,000) telephone calls from people who were contacted by these criminals.  The IRS is aware of over five thousand (5,000) victims who collectively paid out over $26,500,000.00 to these criminals.

If you get a call from someone claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service asking for a payment, you should hang up and call the IRS at 800-829-1040.  Also, you can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.FTC.gov.