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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Police Warn Against IRS, Strong-Arm, Phone Scam

The Westport Police Department today warned residents about bogus, threatening phone calls from persons or recordings claiming to be the Internal Revenue Service.

According to Lt. Jillian Cabana, victims have been threatened with lawsuits, arrest, or fines unless they pay money that is supposedly owed in taxes.

“Some victims are reporting multiple calls a day,” said Cabana. “Please be aware that this is a common scam nationwide.”

Cabana stressed that the IRS does not ask one to pay back taxes via GreenDot, MoneyGram, electronic transfer, “and certainly not via a prepaid gift card.”

“The IRS does not conduct its legitimate business in this manner,” she said.

According to the IRS, there are five, telltale sign of a scam. First, the IRS will never call to demand immediate payment, nor call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.

The IRS reports that it will never demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.

It also does not require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card, or ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

Finally, the IRS says it will never threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

“Should you receive a call of this nature, a quick internet search of the originating phone number will most likely return results showing it to be associated with scam activity,” Cabana said.

“If you receive multiple calls from the same phone number, you can block that specific number by logging into your cellular phone account online.”

Police said that if you know you owe taxes or think you might owe, to call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040, so the IRS workers can help you with a payment issue.

In addition, if you do not owe taxes or have no reason to believe that you do, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1.800.366.4484 or at, police said.

Cabana also said to report the incident to the Police Department or to file a complaint using the FTC Complaint Assistant and choose “Other” and then “Imposter scams.”

If the complaint involves someone impersonating the IRS, include the words “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes, she said.


Posted 05/17/17 at 03:45 PM  Permalink


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