08/18/14 — Officials warn of phone calls from fake IRS agents

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Officials warn of phone calls from fake IRS agents

By From staff reports
Published in News on August 18, 2014 1:46 PM

If you answer your phone this week and it is the tax man, be wary.

A new telephone scam in which the caller claims to be from the Internal Revenue Service is targeting local residents.

Crime Stoppers officials said that a local resident reported he received a voice mail supposedly from the IRS informing him that he needed to call the IRS back immediately at 1-877-766-2161.

The resident called the number and at first heard a recording. Then a person answered and questioned the caller about an account and at some point asked the resident to provide his Social Security number.

Anyone who receives one of these calls should not call back.

The IRS does not call citizens and ask for payment. The IRS will send letters and give citizens time to respond and to dispute claims.

People who receive one of the calls from someone claiming to be from the IRS should ask for the caller's name, a callback number, but should not call back, and an employee badge number -- all of which a legitimate IRS employee is required to provide.

If the caller provides any details, residents should contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 to determine if the caller is legitimate.

According to the IRS website:

* Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.

* Scammers may 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 it's the IRS 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 DMV, and the caller ID supports their claim.