RIDGWAY – The Pennsylvania State Police have been made aware of telephone scams involving callers purporting to represent the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
“An aggressive and sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers has recently been occurring in the central Pennsylvania region. Callers claim to be employees of the IRS, but are not,” state police said.
“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.”
According to state police, 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 or suspension of a business or driver’s license.
“In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting. Victims may be told they have a refund due to try to trick them into sharing private information,” state police said, adding. “If the phone isn’t answered, the scammers often leave an ‘urgent’ callback request.”
State police advised residents to note that the IRS will:
- neither call to demand immediate payment, nor about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
- never demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
- never require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
- never ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
- never threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
“Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately,” state police said.