As we enter into the holiday- of the most popular times to give and receive gift cards - scammers are using the season of giving to their advantage. Scammers often call or email Taxpayers and demand that they pay a phony tax bill with gift cards. Scammers also use compromised email accounts to send emails asking someone to purchase gift cards for friends, family, or co-workers.
This may seem like a scam too transparent to fall for, but it is easier than one may think. The most common way a scammer requests gift cards is over the phone through a government impersonation scam. Most scammers will convince the Taxpayer that their identity has been stolen, that they owe a huge tax penalty, etc. It is also common for scammers to request gift cards by sending a text, email, or through social media direct messaging.
To easily tell if a phone call is a scam, remember this. The IRS will never call for immediate payment, especially via a gift card. Typically, they will first contact you by mail. Additionally, the IRS will not threaten to bring in law enforcement such as the police or immigration officers if it is not immediately paid.