Date: September 7, 2017
Re: Phone Scam Targets Area Residents
Issued by: Lt. Jeremiah P. Marron Jr.
The Darien Police Department would like to warn residents
about a sophisticated phone scam that is targeting taxpayers not only in
Darien, but throughout the country.
Victims receive a phone call and are told they owe money to the IRS and it must
be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. During
the conversation the caller obtains the victim’s home address. 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.
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
DMV, and the caller ID supports their claim.
recent incident in Darien, a potential victim was contacted by someone claiming
they were a Darien Police Officer who then threatened the victim with
arrest. The scam was so complex that the
caller I.D. was actually “spoofed,” and displayed the actual phone number to
the Darien Police Department.
Taxpayers need to be aware so they can help protect themselves. The IRS does not and will not ask for credit
card numbers over the phone, nor request a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer.
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. 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
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 caller ID to make it appear that it’s the IRS calling.
send bogus IRS emails to some victims to support their bogus calls.
background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call site.
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 think 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 Administration 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.