common / Scam Watch

Archbold Residents Receive IRS Impersonator Calls

Tera Rogers, spokesman for the Archbold Police Department, cautioned local residents of a telephone scam that has been reported in the village.

      A caller will represent himself as an official with the Internal Revenue Service and demand information such as social security numbers.

      Rogers said one Archbold man did provide his personal information to the caller; a second person did not.

      Rodgers said the caller provides the victim with a "case number" to make his call sound more official.  When the call comes in, the victim's caller ID reads "IRS," not "Internal Revenue Service."

      Gennifer Jenkins, IRS spokesman for Ohio, said the IRS will call people at home, "but we wouldn't call out of the blue, asking for immediate payment.

      "We would never call to ask for sensitive, personal financial information, which would include your social security number.

      "If you think about it, anyone who has filed a tax return knows we already that (the social security number)," she said.

      Based on the 90,000 complaints that Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration has received through its telephone hotline to date, TIGTA has identified approximately 1,100 victims who have lost an estimated $5 million from these scams.  

      "There are clear warning signs about these scams which continue at high levels throughout the nation,” said John Koskinen, IRS commissioner.      

      “Taxpayers should remember their first contact with the IRS will not be a call from out of the blue, but through official correspondence sent through the mail.

      "A big red flag for these scams are angry, threatening calls from people who say they are from the IRS and urging immediate payment. This is not how we operate. People should hang up immediately and contact TIGTA or the IRS.”

      Additionally, it is important for taxpayers to know that the IRS

      •Never asks for credit card, debit card or prepaid card information over the telephone.

      •Never insists that taxpayers use a specific payment method to pay tax obligations.

      •Never requests immediate payment over the telephone and will not take enforcement action immediately following a phone conversation. Taxpayers usually receive prior notification of IRS enforcement action involving IRS tax liens or levies. 

      If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here is 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 TIGTA at 1.800.366.4484.

      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.

      Recipients should not open any attachments or click on any links contained in the message. Instead, forward the email to phishing@irs.gov. - Posted 1.16, 1 pm

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