May 22, 2018

Police Warn Local Residents of IRS Phone Scams

1d2431fcae97c02d8680f343e8f4eec7(Franklin) — Heard County residents are being warned to be cautious of deceptive phone calls claiming to be agents of the Internal Revenue Service.

Sgt. Dan Boswell of the Heard County Sheriff’s Office says phone scams have been common for years, but the Sheriff’s office has received several reports recently from targeted citizens asked to provide sensitive personal information.

The higher volume of calls likely is attributable to the time period, when most people are preparing to file income tax returns before next month’s deadline.

Callers typically identify themselves as a representative of the IRS and attempt to obtain personal information to engage in identity theft or persuade the listener that they will be arrested if they don’t pay money.

CBS News reported Wednesday that a large-scale IRS phone scam currently is reaching approximately 10,000 Americans every week. At least 366,000 people have reported receiving a call, and more than 3,000 have fallen prey to the scammers’ deception, paying a total of $15.5 million.

Because most of the calls originate outside of the United States, there’s no hope for prosecution from local agencies. The best course of action to protect your assets is to be skeptical of every call.

“Don’t give personal information over the phone,” Boswell said, “and especially don’t give people money.”

According to the CBS News report, the IRS suggests an even simpler tactic for anyone being threatened over the phone: Just hang up.

 

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