MoneyGram Warns Consumers About Tax Time Scam

MoneyGram (NASDAQ: MGI), a leading global money transfer and payment services company is alerting the public about a tax time phone scam that has already cost Americans more than $1 million dollars according to the IRS.

Criminals posing as fake IRS agents call their victims and tell them they owe back taxes and they must pay using a money transfer or pre-paid debit card. The scammers threaten the victim with jail time, deportation or loss of driver’s license.

To make it sound more plausible the callers often know the last four digits of the taxpayer's Social Security number, and the calls are made with fake caller identification software that makes it appear the call is originating from the IRS.

“Never send money to someone you don’t know even if they threaten you,” says Kim Garner, SVP Global Security at MoneyGram. “The IRS will not call consumers if they owe back taxes and they will never ask for payment via wire transfer. If a consumer receives a call like this they should hang up and report it to the authorities immediately.”

Consumers should report the suspected scam to the local police and the IRS, and file reports with the Federal Trade Commission and the National Consumers League. If someone believes MoneyGram was used to wire money as a result of a scam they should call 1-800-MONEYGRAM (800-666-3947).

Since mid-2010, MoneyGram has helped prevent hundreds of millions of dollars in suspected fraud activity globally, put those dollars back in the pockets of consumers, and kept the funds out of the hands of scammers. Consumers can learn more about protecting themselves against fraud at www.moneygram-preventfraud.com.

About MoneyGram International

MoneyGram International, a leading money transfer company, enables consumers who are not fully served by traditional financial institutions to meet their financial needs. MoneyGram offers money transfer services worldwide through a global network of 336,000 agent locations – including retailers, international post offices and financial institutions – in more than 200 countries and territories. MoneyGram also offers bill payment services in the U.S. and Canada. To learn more about money transfer or bill payment at an agent location or online, please visit moneygram.com or connect with us on Facebook.

Copyright Business Wire 2010

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