February 15, 2017

Tax Scam Information

The Dixon Police Department has recently received several telephone calls regarding Tax Scams.   The criminals making these telephone calls are claiming to be employees of the IRS, but are not.  These criminals can sound convincing when they contact you.  They use fake names and fraudulent IRS identification badge numbers.  The also may know a lot about their targets, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling. 

Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer.  If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license.  In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting, or victims may be told they have a refund to try and trick them in to sharing private information. 

Here are some things the scammers often do but the IRS will not do.  Any one of these five things is a sign of a scam.

The IRS Will Never 

  • Call to demand immediate payment over the phone, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you several bills.
  • Call or email you to verify your identity by asking for personal and financial information.
  • 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 telephone or email.
  • Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying. 

If you don’t owe taxes, or have no reason to think that you do: 

  • Do not give out any information and hang up immediately.
  • Contact TIGTA to report the call.  Use their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page.  You can also call 800-366-4484.
  • Report it to the Federal Trade Commission.  Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov.  They request that you add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes. 

If you do owe, or think you may owe taxes: 

  • Call the IRS at 800-829-1040 

Stay alert to scams that use the IRS as a lure.  Tax scams can happen any time of the year, not just at tax time.  For more, visit “Tax Scams and Consumer Alerts” on the IRS.gov website.

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