Crime Prevention

May 22nd, 2015
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Scam Alert: IRS Phone Scam

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Written by: Deputy Chief David Lash
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The Northern York County Regional Police Department is continuing to receive reports of telephone scams involving subjects purporting to be from the IRS.

The subjects call your home and have enough personal information to sound somewhat legitimate.  They often leave messages asking you to call a specific phone number back.  They then proceed to tell you that you owe a specific amount of money and that if not paid immediately, an arrest warrant will be issued.  Some have even threatened to come to homes of the potential victims.

These are scams.  According to the IRS website (www.irs.gov), the IRS will never contact you by phone or email.  They always contact you by US Mail.

Here are some tips provided by the IRS;

The IRS reminds people that they can know pretty easily when a supposed IRS caller is a fake. Here are five things the scammers often do but the IRS will not do. Any one of these five things is a tell-tale sign of a scam. The IRS will never:

  1. Call to demand immediate payment, nor will we call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill..
  2. Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  3. Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
  4. Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  5. Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, here’s what you should do:

  • If you know you owe taxes or think you might owe, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS workers can help you with a payment issue.
  • If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to believe that you do, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1.800.366.4484 or at www.tigta.gov.
  • You can 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.

Remember, too, 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.

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