Sunday, September 25, 2016

DeFuniak Springs, FL – Scammers posing as IRS Agents, Federal Investigators, and other Officials are still trying to swindle you out of your hard earned money. Don’t fall for it! Ask them to send you the information in writing by mail to the address they have on file. If the caller asks for your address, then it is highly probable that they are not legitimate.

IRS Scam AlertDeFuniak Springs Police have received more complaints of scammers active in the area. Complaints that a purported “IRS Agent,” demanding money for taxes owed or the Citizen would be arrested, and that money needs to be paid or federal litigation will take place are just a couple of variations. Scammers have also advised the resident to purchase a prepaid credit card and give the information to them. The IRS would never ask you to purchase a prepaid credit card for payment. It’s even hard to trust the caller ID, since there are many internet spoofing services that scammers are using to act like someone else. A caller can enter the information they want to spoof and it will appear on the person’s caller ID as coming from the agency or company. “The best solution is to contact us before giving out any personal information, stated Chief Weeks. I would not want anyone to fall victim to fraud. Just call us, we’re here to help and will follow-up on the source of the potential scam.”

IRS-Impersonation Telephone Scams

An aggressive and sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, has been making the rounds throughout the country. Callers claim to be employees of the IRS, but are not. These con artists can sound convincing when they call. They use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. They may know a lot about their targets, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling.

Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting. Or, victims may be told they have a refund due to try to trick them into sharing private information. If the phone isn’t answered, the scammers often leave an “urgent” callback request.

Note that the IRS will never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail you a bill if you owe any taxes.
  • Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

Remember: Scammers Change Tactics — Aggressive and threatening phone calls by criminals impersonating IRS agents remain a major threat to taxpayers, but variations of the IRS impersonation scam continue year-round and they tend to peak when scammers find prime opportunities to strike.

Don’t fall victim to tax scams. Remember — if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

If you are unsure of the legitimacy of a phone call or letter you received, don’t give them your personal or financial information. Please call the DeFuniak Springs Police at 892-8513 or your local law enforcement agency for help.

You can also report scams to the IRS by clicking here.

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