IRS scam: Watch out for threatening phone calls

(WJLA) - It starts with a threatening phone call – someone with a common name and a fake IRS badge number demanding money for unpaid taxes, typically ranging from $4,000 to $6,000.

The scammers may have the last four digits of your social security number, and also have a phone number that appears as the IRS on your caller ID. They may also send bogus IRS emails, make repeated phone calls, and ask for money to be wired or paid through a pre-loaded debit card.

But don’t fall for any of it.

"This is a scam and hang up,” says Lucy Caldwell from Fairfax County Police, who adds that the department has received hundreds of complaints about this particular IRS phone scam.

Fairfax and Laurel Police both put on alerts about the scam on Monday.

The scammers are reportedly saying that police are going to arrest the caller, that they are on the way to his or her home, that they will be deported -- and it is extremely upsetting for the victim, according to Caldwell.

"Scammers may even come to your door, don't be a victim,' she says.

The IRS has been warning about these types of scams for years, postings video warnings and alerts online. The agency is also warning about email fishing scams, like this one that hit our inbox, saying I was due for a refund of $926. Another claims that you need to contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service.

Both take you to a webpage asking for your bank account and social security number.

For more information and assistance, visit