Western Union Urges Consumers to Stay Alert for IRS Impersonation Phone Scam

ENGLEWOOD, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU), a leader in global payment
services, urges consumers to stay alert for an aggressive and growing
IRS impersonation phone scam targeting taxpayers.

The scammers, involved in incidents nationwide, claim to be employees of
the IRS, alter caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling and use
false names and IRS identification badge numbers.

Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid
immediately through a pre-loaded debit card or money transfer company.
If the individual refuses to cooperate, the scammer becomes hostile and
threatens arrest, deportation, or suspension of a driver’s license or
passport.

“Awareness and education are the best tools we have in the joint fight
against fraud,” said Dan Marostica, Vice President Consumer Protection
Compliance, Western Union. “Scammers try to use good people and
financial services companies to steal money. Knowing what to look for is
key in identifying warning signs of a scam and then avoiding it.”

“At Western Union, we are dedicated to fighting fraud and helping
consumers protect themselves – the company proactively works with
authorities, consumer-protection agencies and other organizations to
help stop fraud,” added Marostica.

To stay alert to scams that use the IRS as a lure, visit: https://www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Scams-Consumer-Alerts.
The IRS will never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment or call about taxes owed without
    first having mailed you a bill.
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to
    question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a
    prepaid debit card.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Threaten the force of local police or other law-enforcement groups to
    have you arrested for not paying.

Information on other scams and how to protect yourself are also
available at the Western Union Consumer Protection Center: www.westernunion.com/stopfraud.

If you sent a Western Union Money Transfer® transaction and
believe you may be a victim of fraud, call our Fraud Hotline number at 1
(800) 448-1492.

About Western Union

The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a leader in global payment
services. Together with its Vigo, Orlandi Valuta, Pago Facil and Western
Union Business Solutions branded payment services, Western Union
provides consumers and businesses with fast, reliable and convenient
ways to send and receive money around the world, to send payments and to
purchase money orders. As of December 31, 2015, the Western Union, Vigo
and Orlandi Valuta branded services were offered through a combined
network of over 500,000 agent locations in 200 countries and territories
and over 100,000 ATMs and kiosks, and included the capability to send
money to over one billion accounts. In 2015, The Western Union Company
completed 262 million consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide,
moving $82 billion of principal between consumers, and 508 million
business payments. For more information, visit www.westernunion.com.

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Contacts

Western Union Media Contact:
Rachel Rogala, +1 720-332-2686
rachel.rogala@westernunion.com