Information about IRS phone scam

February 18, 2016

Police Chief Bobby Langston wished to pass along the following message about an telephone scam in our area.

With tax season upon us, an increasing number of citizens have reported being the target of the IRS phone scam. As part of scam, callers claim to be from the IRS or the U.S. Treasury Department, and tell victims they owe the government money and must pay it immediately by credit card, a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. Those who refuse are threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of their business or driver’s license.

Some victims report that the caller claims the police are on their way to the victim’s home to make the arrest. The caller tends to use hostility or insults to sway the potential victim. The scammer may even be able to recite the last four digits of the victim’s Social Security number. Accomplices may call back later claiming to be from the local police or the department of licensing, in an effort to convince victims the first call was legitimate.

Scams like these are most likely to work on the elderly, people with mental disabilities or people who have difficulty speaking English. The IRS has said it will NOT ask for credit card numbers over the phone, nor request a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer. Typically, the IRS will make first contact via postal mail and not phone.

If someone unexpectedly calls claiming to be from the IRS and threatens police arrest, deportation or license revocation if you don’t pay immediately, that is a sign that it IS NOT the IRS calling.

Other signs that it may be a scam:

Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.

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.

If you get one of these calls just hang up. Remember, if the IRS wants you, they know how to find you. They won’t give you a courtesy call first. If you get a call, the IRS advises that you call the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484 or file a report online. You should also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their FTC Complaint Assistant at (add IRS Telephone Scam to the comments of your complaint).

Please don’t hesitate to call 911 should you need assistance from the Rolesville Police Department.

Bryan Hicks, Town Manager – Town of Rolesville