Crime, Fire + Courts

IRS scam calls on the rise

By From page A2 | September 04, 2014

Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig is warning residents to be wary of fraudulent telephone calls from people posing as Internal Revenue Service representatives.

In the current scheme, the callers claim that an arrest warrant has been issued by the IRS for unpaid or delinquent taxes, and that unless a fine is paid immediately, the victim will be arrested. The IRS impostors sound very official and the scam is well-executed, Reisig reported.

Recently, numerous concerned Yolo County residents have contacted the District Attorney’s Fraud Unit to report being called by these scammers. A Davis woman told The Enterprise she was called on Wednesday morning.

The official sounding “IRS Warrant” is designed to frighten recipients into responding quickly when they are upset and not thinking clearly. As with most scams, the con artists are either trying to scare the victim into “wiring” money, or trying to get personal information like a Social Security or credit card number.

The IRS will always send taxpayers a written notification of any tax due via the U.S. mail. The IRS never asks for credit card, debit card or prepaid card information over the telephone, Reisig said.

If you suspect a call like this is a scam:
* Never provide any personal information and never “wire” any money.
* Verify the identity of the caller by requesting an employee identification number.
* Call the Treasury Inspector General Tax Administration at 800-366-4484 and report the attempted scam.

Also, never hesitate to ask a trusted friend or adviser for help before responding to any such suspicious calls, Reisig said.

“The complexity and frequency of these types of scams has been increasing dramatically over the last several months,” he said. “Nobody is immune from being targeted by these persistent crooks. The best defense against becoming a victim of such a scam is knowledge and vigilance.”

For more information about this and other types of scams or to report suspected scams to the Yolo County district attorney, call 855-4-YOLO-DA or visit YoloDA.org.

Special to The Enterprise

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