APD warns of IRS phone scam

Published 1:21 pm Friday, November 20, 2015

Atmore Police Chief Chuck Brooks said several individuals have called the department about the IRS telephone scam that’s going around the country.

Brooks said people are to not give any personal information to the caller.

“What they’re doing is pretending to be the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) and they’ll tell people they are behind on their taxes,” Brooks said.

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According to the IRS’s website, the phone scam has been targeting taxpayer, including recent immigrants. The callers claim to be employees of the IRS, but they are not. The callers can sound convincing and will use fake names, bogus IRS identification numbers and will know a lot about their targets.

Victims are then told they can owe the money through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victims refuse to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license.

Brooks said a good way to prevent the con artists from calling again is to let the fake IRS employee know that you are letting the local law enforcement know about them.

“They’ll stop calling you after that,” he said.

The following are some things the IRS will never do:

• call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill;

• 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; or,

• threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

For more information about the phone scam or other scams, visit www.irs.gov.