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New Version of IRS Scam Aimed at College Students

New Version of IRS Scam Aimed at College Students - The Beacon


By: Amanda

New Version of IRS Scam Aimed at College Students

Your BBB® has written several articles on the IRS scam already.  Recently, we’ve learned of a new version of the scam aimed at college students. 

According to the Federal Trade Commission, scammers posing as IRS agents are trying to trick college students into paying a “federal student tax.”  College students are reporting to the FTC that they are receiving phone calls from an “IRS agent” telling them that they owe a “federal student tax.” The caller may have a piece of information about the student, like the name of his or her school, which makes the call seem genuine.  The caller then demands that this tax be paid immediately via wire transfer or other untraceable method.  If the student hesitates, the caller may threaten to report the student to the police. If the student hangs up on the caller, the student may receive follow-up calls with spoofed caller ID information purporting to be from the police department or US government.

If you receive a similar call, here’s what you the FTC says you should know.  First, the FTC points out that there is no “federal student tax.” It doesn’t exist.  Second, the IRS will never ask you to wire money or pay taxes via prepaid, reloadable cards or gift cards. Third, the IRS will never contact you by phone first. If you owe an actual tax, the IRS will send you a letter first and will give you an opportunity to appeal.  Lastly, don’t wire money or give out personal or financial information to someone you don’t know.

You can report these phone calls to the FTC and BBB.

For more information you can trust, visit

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Amanda is the Director of Bureau Affairs and is a regular contributor to the consumer education blog. She is one of our go-to colleagues for answering complex consumer inquires. Amanda also manages our charity reporting program.