Sheriff Woods would like to make residents of Jefferson Davis Parish aware of an aggressive “IRS” phone scam targeting people in our parish. These scams have been popping up since the beginning of the year and have become prevalent on the western side of the parish.
Potential victims are being contacted by someone claiming to be an IRS Agent. They inform the potential victim that they are entitled to big refunds, or that they owe tax money that must be paid immediately to the IRS. If unsuccessful, they will sometimes call back trying a new strategy.
In the last several weeks, several parish residents have reported being contacted by someone posing as an IRS Agent. Potential victims have been threatened with arrest or having their driver’s licenses revoked. Callers have frequently insulted them or been hostile in an attempt to scare their potential victims.
Other characteristics of this scam include:
- Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers.
- Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security number.
- Scammers spoof the IRS 800 number on caller ID making it seem that it’s the IRS.
- Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS emails to victims to support their bogus calls.
- Victims hear background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call site.
- After 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.
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.
The IRS will always send taxpayers a written notification of any tax due via theU.S.mail. The IRS never asks for credit card, debit card or prepaid card information over the telephone. For more information or to report a scam, go to www.irs.gov and type "scam" in the search box.
Sheriff Woods encourages taxpayers, “Be vigilant against phone and email scams”. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email requesting personal or financial information. This includes text messages and social media channels as well. The IRS will never ask for PINs, passwords or 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 e-mail to email@example.com.