Officials at the Victorville Police Department would like to remind residents to be aware of any phone calls from unknown people who claim to be IRS officials, or government officials, and ask for money in the form of money orders, wiring money or other gift cards, especially Green Dot Cards.
The department has received several calls from various individuals who have been called by suspects who claim to be representing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In one report, a man claims to be from the Tax Crime Investigation Department of the IRS. He asked the victim to purchase a “Green Dot” card for taxes she owed for the years from 2008 – 2013, in order to prevent an arrest warrant being issued for her.
The suspects ask for a wide range of money beginning with $200 and increasing the amount by telling the victim that their credit score was not good enough to start a settlement and would have to pay more money. The IRS and Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) has called this the “largest ever” phone fraud scam targeting tax payers. This scam is trending all over the United States and with the advent of technology, the suspects are able to call using “coded” or “spoofed” numbers designed to mimic legitimate law enforcement phone numbers. The best method to tackle this crime is education and prevention.
It is important for the public to remember the IRS will first contact people through mail about unpaid taxes, not by phone. They will NOT ask for payment using a pre-paid debit card, “Green Dot” card, wire transfer, or ask for a credit card number over the phone. If you receive a call from somebody claiming to be from the IRS, here’s what to do:
- If you owe Federal taxes, or think you may owe, call the IRS directly at 800-829-1040.
- If you do not owe taxes, call and report the incident to TIGTA at 800-366-4484 or online at http://www.treasury.gov/tigta.
- You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.FTC.gov and add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments in the complaint.
Tax payers should also be aware that there are other unrelated solicitations and scams that fraudulently claim to be from the IRS.