Beware the Fake “Zero Tax Program” calls flooding phones nationwide with promises tax debt forgiveness. But can you really eliminate back taxes by just making a call? Experts say no – these calls are the latest phishing ploy trying to drain your bank account.
Overview of the Zero Tax Program Scam
Victims report receiving scripted messages from callers impersonating “Bill” or other tax company employees. The scammers spoof some phone numbers but provide different callback lines.
Using high-pressure tactics, they claim the recipient qualifies for a special IRS program to absolve all unpaid taxes deemed “non-collectible.” However, there is no such government program. It’s an attempt to steal sensitive data like Social Security numbers.
Investigation of the Fraud Phone Call
The initial voicemail introduces “Bill from the Tax Group” and references vague “past filings” or back taxes owed. It directs you to call a separate phone number before a strict deadline, suggesting limited availability.
When you return the call, scammers seek personal and financial information under the guise of enrolling you in “Zero Tax relief.” But providing these details grants criminals the keys to raid your identity and assets.
What to Do If You Received the Zero Tax Program Voicecall or Text
If you receive a suspicious voicemail about the “Zero Tax Program,” the wisest course is to completely avoid engaging. Never return calls or provide any personal data to unverified callers.
First and foremost, know that the IRS does not initiate contact via telephone. Instead, they start communications through official postal mail before ever trying to reach you by phone. Therefore, any unexpected call demanding immediate action on tax issues raises a bright red flag.
Moreover, the IRS would never use aggressive, high-pressure tactics like setting fake deadlines or threatening immediate arrest/deportation. Credible collection agencies do not need to rely on intimidation. They carefully follow standardized procedures, provide clear dispute avenues, and respect taxpayer rights. So if you detect urgency, vague “opportunities,” or refusal to cite specifics about alleged debts – it’s undoubtedly a scam.
Some Important Red Flags Reveal Deception:
- Spoofed caller IDs mismatching stated business names
- Refusal to give specifics about alleged tax debts
- Demands for private info like SSNs, passwords, finance details
- High-pressure urgency warning special “opportunities” will expire
- Baseless promises government can simply absolve legitimate taxes
The best response is to abruptly hang up without engaging further. Then, thoroughly document the attempted fraud, note the phone number used, save any voicemails, and promptly report the crime through proper channels like TIGTA and the FTC.
For any actual tax concerns:
- Contact the IRS directly using only official .gov web addresses to verify your standing
- Consult credentialed experts vetted through the IRS Preparer Directory
- Never share personal data over the phone regarding finances if unsolicited
- Extreme skepticism is warranted for any “too-good-to-be-true” offers via calls, texts or emails
- Never click suspicious links from unverified numbers
- Report scam attempts immediately to TIGTA and the FTC
Fake Phone Numbers You Should Avoid
According to numerous victim reports, scammers impersonating “Bill from the Tax Group” frequently rotate through spoofing the following phone numbers (among others):
- (540) 546-0171
- and so on…
These numbers do not match any legitimate businesses associated with the IRS or tax advisory services. Receiving communications from them demanding callbacks should immediately trigger alarm bells. Make sure to block these fake numbers along with any future spoofed lines scammers use for Zero Tax Program fraud attempts.