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Vanderburgh Sheriff’s Department Warns Residents of Fake IRS Phone Scam

Phone Scam
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A scam that has been making its way around the country for nearly a year, has found its way to the 812 area code according to the Vanderburgh County Sheriff Department’s Facebook page.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) first made taxpayers aware of the scam back in October after they received questions on the validity of calls people were getting in regards to back taxes being owed, and the method by which the scammers were asking them to pay.

According to the report, those behind the scam are targeting all types of taxpayers, particularly recent immigrants. Specifically, “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.”

Other signs of the scam include:

  • Other characteristics of this scam include:
  • Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.
  • Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security Number.
  • Scammers spoof the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it’s the IRS calling.
  • Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS emails to some victims to support their bogus calls.
  • Victims hear background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call site.
  • After threatening victims with jail time or driver’s license revocation, scammers hang up and others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or DMV, and the caller ID supports their claim.

In the event you receive such a call, the IRS offers the following advice:

  • If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS employees at that line can help you with a payment issue – if there really is such an issue.
  • If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes (for example, you’ve never received a bill or the caller made some bogus threats as described above), then call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1.800.366.4484.
  • If you’ve been targeted by this scam, you should also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your complaint.

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