Tips on how to foil the new tax fraud

NEW YORK (WABC) -- It's less than three weeks till tax day and the IRS is warning that scammers are working overtime, using a cunning con to steal your personal information and your money. And it all starts with a simple phone call.

Amber Ho-Shing says she was barraged by con artist calls like one that said: "The reason that this call is to inform you the IRS is filing a lawsuit against you for tax fraud." That's a robocall placed by a scammer.

"They called me 10 or 15 times, each day for three days," says Amber.

The scammer threatens Amber, saying she owed thousands in back taxes and giving her just an hour to cough up the cash.

The call seemingly came from D.C., where the IRS is based. But if you Google the number it's labeled online as a scam.

"If you get a call from the IRS, it's not the IRS," was the sage advice from ID theft expert and Founder of CyberScout, Adam Levin.

The new caller con job spoofs the IRS's Taxpayer Advocate Service, the legitimate IRS liason where taxpayers call for help.

Levin says also watch out for cloned pop-up ads for tax software. "It looks like it's the right program - and the price is irresistible," warns Adam.

But if you take the click bait you could load malware on your computer.

"You could be going to identity theft hell - but you're not going to Turbo Tax," said Levin.

The way to avoid a scam is to know what the IRS will never do, that scammers almost always do.

First - the IRS will never call, email or send you a text. All contacts are through the mail.

The IRS also will never ask for a credit or debit card over the phone, demand immediate payment or threaten legal action.

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