NCSO: Beware of IRS scam

The Nassau County Sheriff’s Office is reminding residents of an alert sent from the Internal Revenue Service warning consumers about a sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers throughout the country. 

NCSO received several reports in late 2015, according to a news release.

Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting.

“This scam has hit taxpayers in nearly every state in the country. Nassau County Sheriff’s office want to educate taxpayers so they can help protect themselves,” Sheriff Bill Leeper said in a news release. “The IRS does not and will not ask for credit card numbers over the phone, nor request a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer.”

Other characteristics of this scam include:
• Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.
• Scammers might be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security number.
• Scammers spoof the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that the IRS is 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.
• After threatening victims with jail time or driver’s license revocation, scammers hang up and others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or Department of Motor Vehicles, and the caller ID supports their claim.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS:

• If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at (800) 829-1040. The IRS employees at that line can help you with a payment issue — if there really is such an issue.

• If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes, then call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at (800) 366-4484.

• 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.

• If you believe that you are a victim, contact NCSO’s non-emergency lines at 225-5174 or 548-4009.

News-Leader

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