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Cape Coral police warn of IRS phone scam; here’s how to spot one

Phone scams have become common place, but in recent months, there has been an increase in telephone IRS scam.

A scammer called a Cape Coral Police Department extension with the following IRS scam. The scammer requested our Officer’s name and Social Security number. The scammer started by identifying herself as an “IRS employee” calling you because you have a warrant for your arrest. The “IRS employee” asked questions about where our Officer banked, if they recently traveled to Texas, or rented a car.

As the scam continued, the “IRS employee” explained that a car covered in blood was rented in our Officer’s name and was abandoned near a motel. The car was allegedly rented from a bank account in our Officer’s name. The “IRS employee” ended the conversation by telling our Officer that she did not believe that they were involved and were a victim of identity theft. She told our Officer that an “IRS Investigator” would be calling momentarily to confirm all the details with them. The “IRS employee” should have been tipped off by the way our Officer answered the phone call: “Cape Coral Police Department, this is Officer…”

The scammers will say things to make people fear they will be arrested and are victims of identity theft. Please do not fall prey to these scammers. Please check the tips below to avoid becoming a victim.

Tips to spot IRS Scams:

  • They’re calling you first. The IRS contacts taxpayers by mail first; it doesn’t initiate contact via a random phone call.

  • They’re leaving a prerecorded voice mail. The IRS doesn’t leave prerecorded, urgent or threatening voicemails.

  • They’re emailing you. The IRS doesn’t initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. Do not reply to the message, open any attachments or click on any links. And note that the IRS’s website is IRS.gov — not IRS.com, IRS.net, IRS.org or some other bit after the period.

  • They’re texting you. The IRS doesn’t initiate contact with taxpayers by text message to request personal or financial information.

  • They’re contacting you via social media. The IRS doesn’t initiate contact with taxpayers on social media channels to request personal or financial information.

  • The form they’re sending or referencing doesn’t appear on the IRS website. You can look up the names of IRS notices and letters on the IRS website. If the type of notice you received doesn’t show up on the list, it’s probably not legit.

  • They don’t know what an HSPD-12 card is. Real IRS agents have two forms of identification: a pocket commission and an HSPD-12 card. You have the right to see these credentials, and you can verify information on the HSPD-12 card by calling the IRS (go here for a list of IRS customer service phone numbers).

  • They’re asking for a credit card or debit card number over the phone. The IRS doesn’t do that.

  • They want you to pay only with gift cards, iTunes cards or prepaid debit cards. The IRS doesn’t use these methods for tax payments. The IRS mails paper bills to taxpayers who owe taxes, and payment should only ever be made out to the U.S. Treasury — not a collections agency or other entity. (See some real ways to pay the IRS.)

  • They’re saying you’ll be arrested, deported, have your driver’s license revoked, etc. The IRS can’t revoke your driver’s license, business licenses or immigration status. In addition, the IRS and the Taxpayer Bill of Rights give you the opportunity to question or appeal what the IRS says you owe.

Author: CCPD
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