The Floyd County Police Department has received numerous calls about IRS scams but is pleased to announce that there have not yet been any actual victims, thanks in part to public education about the scheme.
As the tax deadline approaches the number of people reporting scam calls has multiplied. Investigators have fielded calls almost all day regarding people in the county who have received one to three calls a day from scam artists.
Some callers have been falsely informed that they have not paid property taxes in a decade and that if they don’t pay the sheriff’s office will be at their home with a warrant in 45 minutes. Others have been threatened with the loss of driver’s license or business license.
One of the callers was left confused saying, “I just want to know who called me and I really hope no one fell for their scam.”
“Fortunately the people who have made complaints to us have been well educated about the scams and either hang up or tell them off,” said Sgt. Chris Fincher, FCPD investigator. “The best advice is to hang up.”
The worse mistake people can make is argue with the scammer or provide personal information to try to confirm information, he said.
According to the Internal Revenue Service, first contact about unpaid taxes will be by mail – not by telephone or email. The agency certainly won’t ask that payment be made by pre-paid debit card, wire transfer or credit card over the telephone.
Often the scam caller or email will include a common name, fake IRS badge number or may even know the last four digits of the victim’s social security number and address. Sometimes the caller ID will have a spoofed number that appears on-screen as IRS and the scammer will call back a second time to attempt to appear legitimate.
“We are pleased that the information campaign has worked well this far and that no one has actually sent money to these con-artists,” Fincher said.