Scammers claiming to be from IRS target Nebraskans, Iowans

Scams involving the IRS are circulating in the region. One involves phone calls, the other emails.

The Better Business Bureau office serving Nebraska and parts of Iowa is warning that telephone scammers are impersonating IRS agents by using fake names, identification numbers and phone numbers.

The BBB said the IRS impersonators threaten arrest, deportation and license revocation if they don’t receive immediate payment. The scammers instruct people to put money on a prepaid debit card or an iTunes gift card or to send payment via a wire transfer.

In the email scam, someone is sending out an email asking that you click on a link to fill out a questionnaire. The email includes the IRS and the FBI emblems, with the fake link falsely attributed to the FBI.

The link downloads a type of malware called ransomware that prevents a user from getting access to information on his or her own computer unless money is paid to the scammers.

“This is a new twist on an old scheme,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “People with a tax issue won’t get their first contact from the IRS with a threatening email or phone call.”