YORKTOWN, N.Y. – A phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, has been making the rounds throughout the country, according to Yorktown police.
Callers claim to be employees of the IRS but are not. Police say these con artists can sound convincing when they call, using fake names and IRS identification badge numbers. They may know a lot about their targets, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling.
Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit caid or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver's license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting.
In other scenarios, victims may be told they have a refund due to try to trick them into sharing private information.
If the phone isn't answered, the scammers often leave an "urgent" callback request.
Police advise that the real IRS will not:
- Initiate contact by phone, email, text or social media to ask for your personal or financial information.
- Call and demand immediate payment. The IRS will not call about taxes without first mailing a bill.
- Require that payment be made in a certain way.
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone
- Threaten to bring in local police or other law enforcement groups for nonpayment
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