Businesswoman, Police Warn Of Fake IRS Phone Scam
Tax and other scams are back with a vengeance.
Last Friday, Casper businesswoman Marjorie Clark's phone rang, but she didn't recognize the number.
Clark didn't answer, but did listen to the voice recording.
"There was a woman speaking who did not speak English as a native language, but told me on that call that I was delinquent in my taxes with the IRS and that I faced prosecution and possible imprisonment," she said. "And so I needed to call this number (in the 703 area code) immediately."
She didn't, and urges others to do likewise, Clark said. "Never return a call like this. Always check with the local police department, their non-emergency number, which I did."
Despite the caller telling her she had reviewed Clark's tax record, Clark knew the U.S. Internal Revenue Service never calls individuals, but rather sends a registered letter to make contact.
"I care about people, and this is terrible," she said.
Clark is among many people who've recently reported this and other scams to the Casper Police Department.
Some calls are from someone saying they are with the IRS saying they owe money, according to a news release from Police Sgt. Mike Ogden. Some scammers tell people they have missed jury duty and now they have a warrant to pay.
Ogden urges people to not give money over the phone, nor buy green dot cars or other types of gift cars to pay bogus fees or fines.
Here are five things scammers often do but the IRS will not do:
The IRS will never:
- Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you 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 groups to have you arrested for not paying.
If you don’t owe taxes, or have no reason to think you do:
- Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
- Contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration 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. Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" in the notes.
If you know you owe, or think you may owe tax:
- Call the IRS at 800-829-1040.