LEWISBORO, N.Y. – A Lewisboro woman told police that she received several phone calls from someone claiming to be with the IRS, which the company says on its website is a common phone scam.
The woman said the caller, who said his name was Dan, told her she was being arrested for tax fraud, and that the IRS would come to her home in 35 minutes to arrest her. Police confirmed the victim’s home was secure.
When the Lewisboro police called the number, the person that answered hung up when the officer stated his name and title. Police then called an IRS criminal investigator, who said he would forward the information. The IRS website states that this phone scam has been reported in nearly every state in the country.
Lewisboro Police Chief Frank Secret said he has seen it happen many times and urges anyone who receive similar calls asking for money to call the police or report it to the company.
Callers impersonating the IRS have also told victims they owe taxes and must pay using a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer and threaten those who refuse to pay with arrest, deportation or loss of a business or driver’s license.
“If someone unexpectedly calls claiming to be from the IRS and threatens police arrest, deportation or license revocation if you don’t pay immediately, that is a sign that it really isn’t the IRS calling,” IRS Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel said in the statement.
The IRS first contacts people by mail about unpaid taxes and won’t ask for payment using a pre-paid card or wire transfer, nor any personal or financial information by email, texting or any social media. If you get an email asking for this information, the IRS asks that you forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t open any attachments or click on any links in those emails.
According to the IRS website, scammers will often:
- Use common names and fake IRS badge numbers.
- Know the last four digits of the victim’s Social Security number.
- Make caller ID appear as if the IRS is calling.
- Send bogus IRS emails to support their scam.
- Call a second time claiming to be the police or DMV, and caller ID again supports their claim.
If you get a call from someone claiming to be with the IRS asking for a payment, here’s what to do:
- 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 don’t owe taxes, call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484.
- You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at FTC.gov. Add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments in your complaint.
Read more about tax scams on the genuine IRS website, IRS.gov.