The Department of the Treasury's Office of Inspector General (OIG) was established in 1989 by the Secretary in accordance with the Inspector General Act Amendments of 1988. The OIG is headed by an Inspector General who is appointed by the President of the United States with the advice and consent of the United States Senate. The Inspector General reports to the Secretary of the Treasury through the Deputy Secretary and provides the Secretary with independent and objective reviews of the department's operations.
The Inspector General is required to keep both the Secretary and the Congress fully and currently informed about the problems and deficiencies relating to the administration of department programs and operations and the necessity for corrective action. Serving with the Inspector General in the Immediate Office is a Deputy Inspector General.
Acting Inspector General
Council of Inspectors General on Financial Oversight
The Council of Inspectors General on Financial Oversight was established by the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Pub.L. 111-203). Council members share information about their ongoing work, with a focus on concerns that may apply to the broader financial sector and ways to improve financial oversight. The Council is made of nine financial regulatory agency Inspectors General and is chaired by Eric Thorson, Inspector General, U.S. Department of Treasury.
INDIVIDUALS CLAIMING TO BE FROM THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT
There are numerous telephone and email scams in which individuals claim to be employees of the Treasury Department. These scammers often state that they are from the “Department of Legal Affairs” or “Grants Office” and offer grant money of some sort—most recently, the story is a ‘good citizen’ award and, ironically, a grant for ‘victims of fraud.’ In fact, the Treasury has no such programs. The scam is elaborate but results in a promise of thousands of dollars in grant funds after the victim either provides financial details, wires a pre-payment of some sort, or purchases iTunes or other gift cards and reads the numbers on the cards to the scammers over the telephone, which the scammers can then sell on for further profit.
Some of the scammers say they are from the IRS, and threaten to arrest you within a short period of time unless payment is made. They often rely on pressure tactics to intimidate the victim, overcoming an individual’s normal rationality and common sense with a sense of (false) urgency. Often these fraudsters have access to online databases containing some personal information which can make their scam seem more realistic. When thwarted or questioned, some scammers become vulgar and abusive, thinking they are beyond reach.
Although the calls appear by their area codes to originate from a certain geographic area in the United States, overwhelmingly, they do not. Scammers purchase blocks of hundreds of US numbers from dozens of telecommunications carriers and often work their schemes from overseas.
If you have released any financial information, contact your bank immediately to protect your accounts. If you have released either financial or personal information, such as your social security number, consider contacting one of the three major credit reporting companies to ask for a fraud alert to be put on your records to help prevent scammers stealing your identity.
Information on reporting these and other frauds can be accessed Report E-mail Scams. The Treasury Office of Inspector General may disclose any information received to telecommunications carriers for their use in identifying and terminating numbers used in the fraud, or to law enforcement authorities for their use in investigating and combating fraud. _
If you wish to report a non-IRS issue concerning fraud, waste, or abuse anonymously, use the directed OIG Hotline Form.
When reporting a suspicious call to either this Office or TIGTA, telephone carriers require that you provide the exact date and time that you received the call(s) and the geographic location and time zone where you received the call. For example: “I received a suspicious call from telephone number XXX-XXX-XXXX to my home phone in Tallahassee, Florida (Eastern Time Zone) on October 23, 2015 at 9:23AM claiming that there is a legal action against me from the Treasury Department of Legal Affairs and demanding I call XXX-XXX-XXXX.”
UPDATE: IRS Warns DC Area Residents of New Phishing Scam
By Ian Smith • April 6, 2016
The IRS is alerting residents in the Washington, DC area of a new phishing scheme being distributed by email.
According to the IRS, the email cites tax fraud and tries to trick victims into verifying “the last four digits of their social security number” by clicking on a link provided with the email.
The criminals specifically state that this is for tax filers in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. As a further attempt to trick residents of the Capital region, the email scam even suggests that information from recent data breaches across the nation may be involved.
Since many current and former federal employees had their personal data left vulnerable from the two data breaches announced by the Office of Personnel Management last year, federal workers should be on alert for these fraudulent emails.
“As we approach the final days of this filing season, we continue to see these tax scams evolve.” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “We don’t send emails like this, and there’s no special effort underway for people in the District, Virginia and Maryland. As these criminals shift their tactics, the IRS remains committed to quickly warning the taxpayers who may be targeted. Taxpayers should be on the lookout for these scams.”
Phishing Schemes and How to Protect Yourself
Phishing is a scam typically carried out with the help of unsolicited email or a fake website that poses as a legitimate site to lure in potential victims and prompt them to provide valuable personal and financial information. Armed with this information, a criminal can commit identity theft or financial theft.
If a taxpayer receives an unsolicited email that appears to be from either the IRS or an organization closely linked to the IRS, such as the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), report it by sending it to email@example.com. Learn more by going to the Report Phishing and Online Scams page.
It is important to keep in mind that the IRS generally does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels. The IRS has information online that can help protect taxpayers from email scams.