IRS Imposter Phone Scams

  • By Spokane C.O.P.S.
  • 21 Apr, 2016

One current scam making the rounds involves individuals calling people up claiming to be IRS agents. These callers claim the victim owes an amount of back taxes and it needs to be paid “immediately” (usually by going to purchase a prepaid money card and giving them the pin number or by wiring money to a given address). The caller claims that failure to pay up immediately will result in either being sued or arrested within the hour. Some callers even threaten to have the victims’ children taken from them until payment is made.

The tactics used by these scammers is very threatening, intimidating and rude. When the victim refuses to cooperate, the intensity of the pressure escalates and becomes even more threatening. In some cases, the victims received numerous calls with increased pressure from someone claiming to be from law enforcement. The callers are extremely persistent, especially if they perceive that they have been able to create some doubt for the victim that they do possibly owe this sum of money to the IRS.

It is important to know that the IRS will NEVER use these tactics to get payment from you for taxes you may owe. If there is ever a problem with your tax return, you will first receive an official letter from the IRS. Normally, this letter is either certified or registered, and is delivered by the US Postal Service. This letter explains what the problem is, how much you supposedly owe, and your rights to appeal this decision and the process to do that. Remember, you have rights and that does not include “pay immediately or go to jail.”

If you receive one of these phone calls the best thing to do is simple hang up on them. If you have caller ID be sure to write down the number that shows up for this call. Then report the call to the Better Business Bureau at 509-455-4200 or online at www.bbb.org/scamtracker/eastern-washington . You can also view all of the recent scams that have been reported in our area at this site. Another place to report these phone calls it to the IRS phone scam line at 1-800-366-4484. The more reports and information gathered by these organizations hopefully leads them one step closer to identifying the suspects who are committing these aggravating scam calls.

For more crime prevention information, follow Facebook , Twitter , Pinterest , or LinkedIn .

Want to make Spokane a safer place? Volunteer at your local C.O.P.S. shop with one of our crime prevention programs , from lifting fingerprints off of vehicles to catch car prowlers to organizing a block watch for your neighborhood.

Spokane C.O.P.S.

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