Students targeted in a new IRS scam

Sam Chaney

If you need another excuse for not answering your phone, tell people you’re avoiding a new phone scam that targets students.

According to the International Revenue Service (IRS), phone scammers are now directly contacting undergraduate and graduate students and posing as law enforcement or the IRS.

The real IRS reports that these scammers are demanding payment for a nonexistent tax they are calling the “Federal Student Tax.”

The person on the other end of the phone will reportedly try to tell you that you owe fines or taxes, and may even attempt to solicit your tax information, such as your tax return or W-2 information.

According to UNF’s Osprey Update, the scammer may threaten you with “liens, arrest, driver’s license suspension, seizure of assets and/or cancellation of [your] degree” if you do not agree to pay the money upfront.

The update also states that the IRS and law enforcement would never demand immediate phone payment. Bills would also be received in the mail prior to any phone call.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen urges students and employees to “remain vigilant and not fall prey to these aggressive calls demanding immediate payment of a tax supposedly owed.”

If you receive one of these calls, do not give out any personal information and make sure to hang up immediately.

You may report the call to the IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting webpage or call 1-800-366-4484.

If you think you owe taxes, contact the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040.


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