Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scams

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Sheriff Ralph D. Fizer Jr and the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind all citizens about recent Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scams that are going around Clinton County and the nation.

Aggressive and threatening phone calls are being made to residents of Clinton County by criminals impersonating as IRS agents. These impersonators will threaten police arrest, deportation, license revocations and other things. The caller may threaten you with arrest or court action to trick you into sending money to them. They may also state that you are entitled to a huge refund. Rest assured, this is NOT the IRS contacting you over the phone.

Scammers make unsolicited phone calls claiming to be IRS officials. They demand that the victim pay a tax bill. They con the victim into sending cash, usually through a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. They may also leave an “urgent” callback request through phone “robo-calls” or via a phishing email.

Scammers often alter caller ID numbers to make it look like the IRS or another agency is calling you. The callers use IRS titles and fake badge numbers to appear legitimate. They may use the victim’s name, address and other personal information to make the call sound official.

Here are five things that scammers often do but the IRS will NOT do. Any of these five things is a tell-tale sign of a scam:

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

Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.

  • Contact TIGTA to report the call. Use their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page. You can also call them at 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 and an IRS worker can help.

Stay alert to scams that use the IRS as a lure. Tax scams can happen any time of the year, not just at tax time.