Cops: IRS phone scam displayed Darien PD number
Published 7:27 am, Friday, September 8, 2017
DARIEN - In the latest twist in an ongoing IRS scam, a resident received a call from someone claiming to be a Darien police officer, who threatened the victim with arrest.
Police said the scam was so complex that the caller ID was “spoofed,” and displayed the actual phone number to the Darien Police Department.
The resident said the caller threatened the victim with arrest if they didn’t pay the delinquent taxes “promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer.”
Darien police said this sophisticated phone scam is targeting taxpayers not only in Darien, but throughout the country.
Other characteristics of this scam include:
Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.
Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security Number.
Scammers spoof the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it’s the IRS calling.
Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS emails to some victims to support their bogus calls.
Victims hear background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call site.
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.
If you’ve been targeted by this scam, you should also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at FTC.gov. Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments of your complaint.
In a statement, Darien police explained how the scam works.
“Victims receive a phone call and are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. During the conversation the caller obtains the victim’s home address.
“If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation, or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting.
“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.”
Police said taxpayers need to be aware so they can help protect themselves.
The IRS does not and will not ask for credit card numbers over the phone, nor request a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer.
If someone unexpectedly calls claiming to be from the IRS and threatens police arrest, deportation or license revocation if you don’t pay immediately, that is a sign that it really isn’t the IRS calling.
The first IRS contact with taxpayers on a tax issue is likely to occur via mail.