CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is warning students to be careful of scammers posing as the federal government demanding payment for a “Federal Student Tax.”
“IRS scams continue to evolve,” Morrisey said in a press release. “This time, students are the target. A lack of experience and a thirst for independence makes them susceptible to scammers. Even the smartest students can fall victim to scams.”
The Internal Revenue Service reports students receive phone calls from impersonators demanding payment for the non-existent tax. Scammers order the student to immediately wire money and threaten to report the victim to police for nonpayment.
Morrisey says the IRS never will call to demand payment, threaten immediate arrest, require a specific payment method or ask for credit/debit card numbers over the phone.
Morrisey and the IRS urge students to take the following precautions if they get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the agency:
• Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
• Report the call via the IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting web page or call 800-366-4484.
• Report it to the Federal Trade Commission by visiting FTC.gov and clicking on “File a Consumer Complaint.” Add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.
• Call the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040 for clarification of any existing tax debt.
Those who believe they have been a victim of a scam are asked to call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 800-368-8808 or the Eastern Panhandle field office in Martinsburg at 304-267-0239. To file a report online, go to www.wvago.gov.