Watch Out: Intimidating Scammers Calling Taxpayers and Demanding They Owe Thousands to the IRS

Katie Pavlich

3/21/2014 11:30:00 AM - Katie Pavlich

Scammers. They're terrible. Worse? Scammers who call to tell you in a stern, intimidating voice that you owe thousands of dollars to the IRS and that if you don't pay immediately, you'll be arrested. More from POLITICO:

Halah Touryalai, a Forbes staff writer, got a call and a threat from what she thought was an Internal Revenue Service agent: You owe $5,000. Pay up now, or we’ll arrest you.

She froze.

“For the next five or so minutes, I listened in absolute panic,” Touryalai wrote in an op-ed describing the incident.

The largest-ever IRS tax scam is pulsing through the nation in the middle of tax season, an IRS watchdog investigating the matter said on Thursday. IRS impersonators are calling taxpayers, demanding hundreds and thousands of dollars in alleged unpaid taxes.

“This is the largest scam of its kind that we have ever seen,” said J. Russell George, the Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration. “Do not become a victim.”

More from Touryalai's op-ed on the incident:

He recited the last four digits of my social security number and knew where I worked. He told me that I’d failed to declare all of my income and engaged in tax fraud. He then told me the government was seizing any property and any assets in my name, that it had already froze my bank and credit card accounts, suspended my driver’s license as well as my passport. There would be a massive penalty, plus possible jail-time. Further, my social security number was now blacklisted.

This scam highlights the crippling power the IRS has over a person. Imagine how hundreds of tea party groups, especially the smallest ones, felt and still feel under years of real IRS intimidation.

Luckily, Touryalai didn't get scammed out of $4900, but unfortunately, hundreds of people involved in tea party groups were scammed out of their First Amendment Rights.