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Scammers target students into paying phony student tax

iupuicollegestudents

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – College is hard enough, but now students are facing a whole new kind of test: a scam targeting their wits about the real world.

Here’s how it works: Your child gets a phone call from someone claiming to work for the IRS. They say your child owes money for a ‘Federal Student Tax’ and if they don’t pay immediately, they’ll face jail time.

What your student may not know is that there is no such thing as a ‘Federal Student Tax.’

“That just doesn’t exist,” said Justin Hazlett, Interim Director of Consumer Protection for the Office of the Indiana Attorney General.

The phone call is a new twist on the old IRS scam which continues to grow across Indiana.

Around this time last year, the AG’s office received around 1,500 complaints about the IRS scam. This year, the office has already surpassed that number at 1,709 complaints and a total of $37,660 is losses.

In 2014, the total number of IRS complaints was 1,100.

The good news, Hazlett says, is Hoosiers are becoming wiser and falling for the scam less often. And that’s why scammers are now targeting vulnerable college students, who may not know better.

“These younger persons are also at a point in their lives where they are establishing credit. They don’t want to have a bad hit – if you will – against their credit, so the scammers have probably figured out that they can get traction with those sorts of receptive audiences,” said Hazlett. “The best protection here though for consumers is to just immediately hang up.”

If you have received this scam call, report it to the Attorney General here.