The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority issued an Investor Alert warning investors about a phone scam involving phone calls allegedly coming from the Internal Revenue Service. Since 2013, more than 700,000 investors have received scam phone calls demanding that they immediately pay a tax obligation or face serious consequences, such as the possibility of arrest. FINRA notes that these scams have been successful because the impersonators have become increasingly sophisticated in building credibility through altered caller ID numbers and official-looking documents. 

To avoid this scam, FINRA recommends that investors become aware of the procedures the IRS uses when engaging taxpayers. For example, FINRA warns investors that the IRS will never call taxpayers and demand the immediate payment of a tax obligation. FINRA recommends reporting these incidents to the IRS and the Treasury Inspector General. 

The press release discussing the Investor Alert is available here. 

The Investor Alert is available here.