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Local News

November 16, 2013

IRS warns of phone scheme

The IRS is warning the public about a phone scam that targets people across the nation, including recent immigrants. Callers claiming to be from the IRS tell intended victims they owe taxes and must pay using a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer. One Oneonta area resident received a scam call from the phone number (855) 547-3676.

The scammers threaten those who refuse to pay with arrest, deportation or loss of a business or driver’s license.

The callers who commit this fraud often:

• Use common names and fake IRS badge numbers.

• Know the last four digits of the victim’s Social Security number.

• Make caller ID appear as if the IRS is calling.

• Send bogus IRS emails to support their scam.

• Call a second time claiming to be the police or DMV, and caller ID again supports their claim.

The truth is the IRS usually first contacts people by mail — not by phone — about unpaid taxes. And the IRS won’t ask for payment using a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer. The agency also won’t ask for a credit card number over the phone.

The IRS advises the following for people who receive scam phone calls:

Those who are concerned that they might owe taxes can call the IRS at (800) 829-1040. IRS workers can help with your payment questions.

Those who know they do not owe can report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at (800) 366-4484. Complaints can also be filed with the Federal Trade Commission at FTC.gov. Add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments in the complaint.

More information about tax scams is available online at IRS.gov.

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