PUNXSUTAWNEY – The Pennsylvania State Police have been alerted about telephone scams involving callers who are claiming 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,” state police say.
“Callers claim to be employees of the IRS but are not. These con artists can sound convincing when they call.”
According to state police, callers use “fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers.” They usually are familiar with targets and alter caller ID to make it appear as though it’s the IRS.
State police say 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, state police say they are then threatened with arrest or suspension of a business or driver’s license
According to state police, 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. If the phone isn’t answered, the callers often leave an “urgent” callback request.
State police would like to remind that the IRS will:
- neither call to demand immediate payment, nor about taxes owed without first mailing you a bill.
- not demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
- not require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
- not ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
- not threaten to bring in local police or other law enforcement agencies to have you arrested for not paying.
“Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately,” state police said.