Bay Village Police have posted excellent information on their facebook site advising residents to beware of scam IRS callers. Here is the post:
BEWARE OF IRS SCAM CALLS!
The Bay Village PD has received a large number of complaints from residents experiencing scam phone calls from the IRS. Residents report callers perporting to be an IRS Agent or a representative from the IRS. In most cases, the caller advises the resident that they owe current taxes or they are delinquent on back taxes. The caller asks for bank account numbers, credit card numbers, pre-paid Visa’s/MasterCards and personal information so they can clear up their tax debt immediately. On some occasions, the caller advises the resident if they don’t pay their tax bill over the phone, an Arrest Warrant will be issued for them or there is a threat that an IRS Agent will come to their house. The purpose of the calls is to scam residents out of money.
The phone scam
A scammer will call you and identify himself as an IRS agent, complete with a fake name and a bogus badge number.
• He’ll say you owe delinquent taxes and demand immediate payment.
• The scammer will convincingly try to force you to give your bank account or credit card information, or he might instruct you to get a prepaid debit card to make your IRS payment.
If the call goes to an answering machine, the scammer will leave a message with a dire warning, demanding that you call back as soon as possible or risk arrest.
A slightly different phone scam
An alternative ploy is for the scammer to tell you that the IRS discovered it owes you a large refund and wants to pay you immediately. The scammer will then ask for your Social Security number and bank information so the IRS can transfer the money directly to your account.
How to spot an IRS phone scam
Scammers frequently say things the IRS would never say over the phone. Knowing what the IRS won’t say can help you quickly spot an IRS phone scam. The IRS will never:
• Call about money owed without first mailing you a bill
• Demand immediate payment by phone
• Demand payment without allowing you to question or appeal the amount
• Ask for your bank account or credit card information
• Require that you pay taxes in a certain manner, like with a prepaid debit card
• Threaten to send the police to arrest you
What if I get one of these calls?
If you get a phone call by someone claiming to be from the IRS:
• Don’t talk to the caller or give out any information
• Hang up immediately
• Report the call to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, either online at IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting or by phone at 800-366-4484
• Report the call to the Federal Trade Commission using the FTC Complaint Assistant
What if I do owe the IRS money?
Even if you owe money to the IRS:
• Hang up and do not talk to the caller
• Do not give out any information
• Call the IRS at 800-829-1040 to sort out what you owe