CLARKSTOWN, N.Y. -- Clarkstown police say they are getting a lot of calls from residents who fear they may have been targets of IRS phone scammers.
The callers often claim to be an agent from the Internal Revenue Service calling about a past-due balance.
The caller will tell the victim that unless the debt is paid immediately, a team of officers will come to the victim’s home that day to arrest the victim.
These scammers often use caller ID spoofing so that the victim’s caller ID box says “Internal Revenue Service” or displays the phone number of the Internal Revenue Service.
Police say that the IRS will never:
- Call you to demand immediate payment. The IRS will not call you if you owe taxes without first sending you a bill in the mail.
- Demand that you pay taxes and not allow you to question or appeal the amount you owe.
- Require that you pay your taxes a certain way. For instance, require that you pay with a prepaid debit card.
- Ask for your credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
- Threaten to bring in police or other agencies to arrest you for not paying.
To thwart these thieves, know the following:
- Think of the telephone as a “one-way street” : It’s OK to give out information over the phone if you made the call to a number you know and trust (such as your own bank). However, never give out personal information such as your Social Security number when you receive an unsolicited call. If you receive a call soliciting personal information, just hang up the phone, no matter what the caller ID says.
- Beware if a caller asks to keep a conversation a secret : A legitimate caller will never request that a conversation remain a secret, and you should immediately be suspicious.
- Just say no! : You don’t have to be polite when you receive unsolicited phone calls. The safest thing to do is to say “no” and hang up.
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