College Students, Beware the “Federal Student Tax” Scam

The IRS will never call you demanding payment.

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This article originally appeared on Money.

College students heading back to school might be on the receiving end of a new scam, according to the IRS.

Scammers are calling students and their parents and demanding a “federal student tax,” the Detroit Free Press reports. The fraudsters are asking for a wire transfer or prepaid debit cards. The IRS warns that “if the person does not comply, the scammer becomes aggressive and threatens to report the student to the police to be arrested.”

The Freep notes that “con artists know how to ‘spoof’ numbers to make it look like the IRS or the police or the FBI is on the line.” But the IRS and/or FBI will never call and demand payment over the phone.

The IRS’s website details five things the IRS will never do:

  1. Call to demand immediate payment.
  2. Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  3. Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
  4. Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  5. Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

If one of those things happens to you, it is likely the work of a scammer. The IRS advises you to hang up immediately and report scam calls here and here, or at 800-366-4484.