SSFPD Media Release: IRS Confidence Scheme I Scam

South San Francisco, CA March 11, 2014   Submitted by SSFPDSSFPD logo

Recently several residents of South San Francisco have fallen victim to a unique type of scam in which citizens have. been contacted by subjects purporting to be agents with the Internal Revenue Service. The fake agents advise the victims that they owe large amounts of money in back taxes. The fake agents threaten arrest if the money is not paid.The latest victim sent over $2,000 to the suspect by placing money on a pre-loaded debit card and then providing the access number to the card to the suspect allowing them to collect the funds without being detected.

 

Please contact the South San Francisco Police Department at 650-877-8900 if you believe you have been the victim of this type of confidence scheme or similar scheme.

 

Please read the below warning which was issued by the Internal Revenue Service regarding these types of scams.

Everything South City offers these comments at this point:

Your editor has received numerous bogus calls and wanted to offer these comments: This information is a good general reminder for us all and we need to help get the word out to protect other neighbors.The instructions below offered by the IRS ‘If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here’s what you should do’ do not seem to work. We gave them a call and were directed through some very unclear voice message and left at a dead end. 

At the same time we did call back the phone number left by scammers and gave them a false name with our correct phone number and they said they had taken us off the list. Hopefully this will eliminate the bogus phone calls that come at all hours of the night. – Ed.

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IRS Warns of Pervasive Telephone Scam

 

The Internal Revenue Service today warned consumers about a sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent 1immigrants, throughout the country.

 

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.

 

“This scam has hit taxpayers in nearly every state in the country. We want to educate taxpayers so they can help protect themselves. Rest assured, we do not and will not ask for credit card numbers over the phone, nor request a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer,” says IRS Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel. “If someone unexpectedly calls claiming to be from the IRS and threatens police arrest, deportation or ,license revocation if you don’t pay immediately, that is a sign that it really isn’t the IRS calling.” Werfel noted that the first IRS contact with taxpayers on a tax issue is likely to occur via mail

 

Other characteristics of this scam include:

  • Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.
    • Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security Number.
    • Scammers spoof the IRS toll-free number on cailler ID to make it appear that it’s the IRS calling.
      • Scammers sometimes send bogus IHS emails to some victims to support their bogus calls.
      • Victims hear background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call site.
  • After threatening victims with jail time or driver’s license revocation, scammers hang up and others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or OMV, and the caller ID supports their claim.

 

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here’s what you should do:

  • If you know you owe taxes or you thin!k you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS employees at that line can help you with a payment issue – if there really is such an issue.
  • If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes (for example, you’ve never received a bill or the caller made some bogus threats as described above), then call and report the incident to the  Treasury Inspector General for Tax Ad ministration at 1.800.366.4484 .
    • If you’ve been targeted by this scam, you should also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at FTC.gov.  Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your complaint.

Taxpayers should be aware that there are other unrelated scams (such as a lottery sweepstakes) and solicitations (such as debt relief) that fraudulently claim to be from the IRS.

 

The IRS encourages taxpayers to be vigilant against phone and email scams that use the IRS as a lure. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information . This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels. The IRS also does not ask for PINs, passwords or similar confidential access information for credit card, bank or other financial accounts.

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