IRS PHONE SCAM ALERT

posted Feb 1, 2016, 9:01 AM by John McGinnis   [ updated Feb 1, 2016, 9:21 AM ]

The Medford Lakes Police Department has received multiple complaints from Borough residents who reported they are receiving IRS phone scam calls.  Criminals are calling from various phone numbers and posing as the IRS attempting to trick victims out of their money or personal information.  Here are several tips to help you avoid being a victim of these scams:

- Scammers make unsolicited calls:  Thieves call taxpayers claiming to be IRS officials.  They demand that the victim pay a bogus tax bill.  They con the victim into sending cash, usually through a prepaid debit card or wire transfer.  They may also leave "urgent" callback requests through phone "robo-calls," or via phishing email.

- Callers try to scare their victims:  Many phone scams use threats to intimidate and bully a victim into paying.  They may even threaten to arrest, deport, or revoke the license of their victim if they don't get the money.  

- Scams use caller ID spoofing:  Scammers often alter caller ID to make it look like the IRS or another agency is calling.  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.

- Cons try new tricks all the time:  Some schemes provide an actual IRS address where they tell the victim to mail a receipt for the payment they make.  Others use emails that contain a fake IRS document with a phone number or email address for a reply.  These scams often use official IRS letterhead in emails or regular mail that they send to their victims.  They try these ploys to make the ruse look official.

- Scams cost victims over $23 million:  The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration has received reports of about 736,000 scam contacts since October 2013.  Nearly 4,550 victims have collectively paid over $23 million as a result of the scam.

***The IRS will not:  
    - Call you to demand immediate payment.  The IRS will not call you if you owe taxes without first sending you a bill in the mail.
    - Demand that you pay taxes and not allow you to question or appeal the amount you owe.
    - Require that you pay your taxes a certain way (i.e. prepaid debit card).
    - Ask for your credit card or debit card numbers over the phone.  
    - Threaten to bring in police or other agencies to arrest you for not paying.

The IRS can be contacted at 800-829-1040 if you need to report an IRS scam.  Additional information is also available at www.irs.gov.  To report a phone scam in Medford Lakes, contact the Medford Lakes Police Department at 609-654-2156 or 609-267-8300.