(SALEM) - There are numerous IRS Scams that occur all year round, but the Washington County Sheriff's Department is reporting an increase in IRS Scams as the tax season is quickly approaching.
"One of the more common scams involve callers, who threaten to arrest or prosecute if money is not immediately paid," says Sheriff Roger Newlon.
In some cases, callers are using technology that allows the scammers to "spoof" or alter the caller ID to make it appear that the call is coming from a restricted number, the IRS or a legitimate law enforcement agency. Most of these scams originate from overseas using VOIP phone services such as Skype or MagicJack.
Here are several WARNING signs to watch for:
- The IRS will NEVER call to demand immediate payment, nor will they call about taxes owed without first having MAILED you a tax bill, nor deny you an opportunity to question or appeal their claim.
- The IRS will NEVER require you to use a specific payment method for paying your taxes such as ITunes cards, Greendot pre-paid cards or wire services such as Western Union or MoneyGram.
- The IRS will NEVER threaten to bring in the local police or other law enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
- The IRS will NEVER ask for your banking information over the telephone.
- The IRS will never send you an email.
- If you get a telephone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, IMMEDIATELY HANG UP and contact the IRS at 1-(800)829-1040.
- If you have been targeted by this scam or any other IRS scam, please report the incident to your local law enforcement agency and also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
If someone calls you claiming to be a local police officer or detective, you can call the Washington County Sheriff's Department at (812) 883-5999 to verify or report the call.
Experts say the best thing you can do to protect yourself is to contact the IRS directly if you have any questions.
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