IRS Scam Comes To Grand Junction
We all hear about these scams. But we here on the western slope sometimes feel insulated from the things that affect people in larger cities.
But scam artists don't care where you live, only what they can get from you. And history says they have been quite successful, that is until they get caught.
Well, they messed with the wrong guy when they called me this morning.
Here is, transcribed, word for word, what the message said:
"Filed against you by the Internal Revenue Service and there is an available arrest warrant issued under your name. So before we move forward with the lawsuit and illegal allegation contact us as soon as possible on (phone number redacted) thank you."
If you are contacted, either by phone or e-mail, your first step is to go to Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) website.
This website will collect your information as well as the information provided by the scammers, be it an email address, phone number or other contact information shared in the message.
IRS commissioner John Koskinen states that taxpayers across the nation are facing these scams, and to not be fooled into thinking it's legitimate. He states " If you are surprised to be hearing from us, then you're not hearing from us."
If you receive one of these calls, whether the electronically recorded voice version I received or the more "personal" call, where they give you an agent ID number, contact the above website, include as much information as possible and most importantly DO NOT CALL THE SCAMMERS BACK.
In order to make a more informed decision, here are a few things the IRS WON'T do:
They will NEVER call to demand immediate payment, nor will they call about taxes owed without first sending a bill.
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, such as a prepaid debit card.
Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
If you don't owe taxes or have no reason to think that you do, do NOT give out any information. Hang up IMMEDIATELY.
Contact TIGTA and report the call. Use their IRS Impersonation scam reporting web page or call 800-366-4484.
You can also report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Go to FTC.gov and use the FTC complaint assistant. They ask that you add IRS telephone Scam in the notes.
Be aware of these scams. And share this information with anyone you know who may have been similarly scammed.