As tax season begins this year, the Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office is receiving calls from multiple people saying IRS scams are hitting the county.
The IRS is warning the public to be alert for telephone scams. Warning signs include callers claiming to be with the IRS, scammers often demanding money to pay taxes, callers saying a refund is due.
The refund is a fake lure to give the scammers banking or other private financial information, according to the IRS.
The scammers can sound convincing and alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling. They also may know a lot about the person they are calling.
They use fake names and fake IRS badge numbers. They often leave an “urgent” callback request when they leave a voicemail.
The following are actions the IRS does not do:
• Call to demand immediate payment. The IRS will not call about taxes owed without first mailing a bill;
• Demand the person pay taxes without giving a chance to question or appeal the amount they say is owed;
• Require person to use a certain payment method for 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 for not paying.
If a resident thinks they have been contacted by a scammer, the IRS recommends calling 800-829-1040 to talk about payment options or setup a payment plan online at IRS.gov.
To report the incident, contact the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Adminstration at 800-366-4484 or at www.tigta.gov.
Also contact the Federal Trade Commission at FTC.gov. Use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” to report the scam. Add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your complaint.
The IRS does not use unsolicited email, text messages or any social media to discuss your personal tax issues. For more information on reporting tax scams, go to www.irs.gov and type “scam” in the search box.
The Sheriff’s Office reminds the community that if the offer is too good to be true it probably is and do not provide any personal identification such as a social security number or birth date.
Law enforcement or regulatory agencies do not threaten a person with arrest for failing to pay immediately, the Sheriff’s Office said.