JONESBORO, Ark. – Phony IRS agents are scamming residents in Jonesboro and NEA and police are issuing a warning about the illicit behavior.
Jonesboro police have received several calls recently from Jonesboro residents reporting that scammers posing as IRS agents have called them demanding immediate payment of bogus tax bills and threatening them with arrest, a press release said.
Residents say they received calls from numbers showing a number of different area codes in which the callers claimed to be IRS agents and demanded immediate payments. Scammers often use spoofing software to make the call appear that it is originating from any area code, including 202, which is Washington, D.C.’s area code.
In this widespread scam, intended victims are told they owe the IRS money and are instructed to pay immediately through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer or be arrested on a warrant.
If the victims refuse, they are threatened with arrest or suspension of a driver’s or business license. Scammers often use fake names and IRS badge numbers, in some cases can recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security number, or may send bogus e-mails to the victims. They may even call back pretending to be with the local police.
If you get a phone call or e-mail from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here is what the IRS recommends:
If you know you owe taxes, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 to discuss it. If you don’t owe taxes, then call and report the incident at 1-800-366-4484.
The IRS does not:
- Angrily demand immediate payment over the phone, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
- Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
- 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.
For more information on reporting tax scams, go to IRS.gov and type “scam” in the search box.
Press Release – Paul Holmes, JPD
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