JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Police are trying to separate fact from fiction when it comes to calls from those claiming to be the Internal Revenue Service.
Jonesboro Police Public Information Specialist Paul Holmes states the department has received several calls lately about "scammers" posing as IRS agents demanding payment of a fake tax bill.
A Jonesboro resident recently told officers she got a call from a 317 area code. The caller, claiming to be with the IRS, demanded payment of $5,000.
Victims are told to pay off what they owe with a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If someone refuses, the caller threatens them with arrest or suspension of licenses.
Holmes states scammers may use fake names and IRS badge numbers to sound legitimate. They may also recite the last four digits of a Social Security number or send bogus emails to victims. Further, they may even call back pretending to be with local police.
Police suggest doing the following if you get a suspicious call or email claiming to be from the IRS:
- If you know you owe taxes, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 to discuss it.
- If you don’t owe taxes, then call and report the incident at 1-800-366-4484.
The IRS does not do the following, according to police:
- Angrily demand immediate payment over the phone, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
- Threaten to 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.
- Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
Go to IRS.gov and type the word "scam" in the search box to get more information on reporting tax scams.
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