by Shannon Cay
MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark. – Folks in Baxter County need to watch out for the latest phone scam from the phony IRS.
Sheriff John Montgomery says any call from the IRS is a scam, because that is not how the internal revenue service contacts you. This is how he says it works: the scammer tells their phone victim they are facing arrest unless they pay up, but the Sheriff’s Office says it doesn’t ever get involved in any collection efforts on behalf of the IRS.
Montgomery says if you receive one of these calls, just hang up the phone.
The IRS website says that this scam has been going on since October of 2013 and more than 5-thousand victims have lost more than 26- million dollars, as a result.
Montgomery is urging people to not pay these bogus tax bills and to ignore any threats of arrest from them.
Below is the released information from the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office:
The IRS lists five things that phone scammers often do but the IRS will not do. Any of these five things is a tell-tale sign of a scam:
The IRS will never:
- Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you 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 for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
- Ask for a credit or debit card number over the phone.
- Threaten to bring in local police to have you arrested for not paying.
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, here’s what you should do:
- Do not give out any information at all. Hang up immediately.
- You can report the call to the U. S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 800-366-4484 and to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on their website, www.FTC.gov.
- If you know you owe a tax or think you may owe a tax, you may call the IRS at 800-829-1040 and an IRS worker can help you.