The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is Warning the Community of Tax Related Scams
The would-be victims are told they owe money to the IRS or another Law Enforcement entity and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card, wire transfer or gift card. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are threatened with arrest. In many cases, the scammer becomes hostile and insulting to the victim.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office does not except money in exchange for dismissal of arrest warrants and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office will not collect money for the IRS or any other governmental entity.
Anytime someone asks for payment in the form of a pre-loaded debit card, wire transfer or gift card, that should be a red flag that it is a scam!
Common characteristics of this scam include:
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 and the caller ID supports their claim.
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here’s what you should do:
If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. 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, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1.800.366.4484.
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.