Local police report that residents are continuing to receive scam phone calls from people demanding money or a refund in order to trick victims into sharing private information. Some of the callers have been able to alter a telephone’s caller ID to make it appear that the call is coming from the Internal Revenue Service.
Both federal and local police investigators are aware that the scam is occurring nationwide and have shared the following tips from the IRS on how to spot suspicious calls and report these scams. It should be easy to know when a caller is a fake, according to the IRS. Here are five things the scammers often do but the IRS will not do. Any one of these five things is a telltale sign of a scam.
The IRS will never:
• Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the IRS call about taxes owed without first having mailed 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 to bring in local police or other law enforcement to have you arrested for not paying.
Anyone receiving a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money should:
• If taxes are owed, or might be owed, call the IRS at (800) 829-1040. The IRS workers can help you with a payment issue.
• If taxes are not owed or you have no reason to believe that they are, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at (800) 366-4484 or tigta.gov.
• File a complaint using the FTC Complaint Assistant; choose “Other” and then “Imposter Scams.” If the complaint involves someone impersonating the IRS, include the words “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.
The IRS does not use unsolicited email, text messages or any social media to discuss your personal tax issue. For more information on reporting tax scams, go to www.irs.gov and type “scam” in the search box. Additional information about tax scams are available on IRS social media sites, including YouTube and Tumblr where people can search “scam” to find all the scam-related posts.