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SCAM ALERT: Calvert County Sheriff’s Office Warns of IRS Phone Scam

Prince Frederick, Md. - February 25, 2020 - Recently, the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office has received an influx of calls from residents warning of scammers claiming to represent the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The scammers claiming to be from the IRS tell intended victims they owe taxes and must pay using a pre-paid debit card, money order, or a wire transfer. The Sheriff’s Office warns the threat is an immediate sign scammers are calling, and you should hang up immediately.

Scammers are able to alter caller ID numbers to make it look like the IRS is calling. They use fake names and bogus IRS badge numbers. They often leave "urgent" callback requests.

They prey on the most vulnerable people, such as the elderly, newly arrived immigrants and those whose first language is not English. Scammers have been known to impersonate agents from IRS Criminal Investigation as well. These callers may demand money or may say you have a refund due and try to trick you into sharing private information. These con artists can sound convincing when they call. They may know a lot about you.

The IRS reminds people that they can know pretty easily when a supposed IRS caller is a fake. Here are five things the scammers often do but the IRS will not do. Any one 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 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.

CCSO encourages taxpayers to be alert to phone and email scams that use the IRS name. The IRS will never request personal or financial information by email, text, or any social media to discuss personal tax issues, such as those involving bills or refunds.

Please keep these tips in mind and share them with your friends and family to avoid becoming a victim to a phone scam. If you have any suspicions at all about a phone call, it is best to just hang up or ignore the call. NEVER give any personal information such as bank account numbers, credit card numbers, Social Security Numbers, etc., over the phone.

• If you owe Federal taxes or think you might owe taxes, hang up and call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you with your payment questions.

• If you do not owe taxes, fill out the “IRS Impersonation Scam” form in TIGTA’s website, www.tigta.gov or call TIGTA at 800-366-4484.

• You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.FTC.gov. Add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments in your complaint.

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