Now that tax season is upon us, 2-1-1 has been alerted that local residents are being scammed by callers pretending to be from the US Treasury or IRS. Scammers demand immediate payment, identifying information, often with threatening or aggressive techniques like penalties for non-compliance.
Please know that the IRS and or US Treasury will never contact you via telephone and threaten you with arrest. Any correspondence from either of these agencies would be done in writing via the US Postal service.
The following are just a few tips that can help you avoid the hassle of being the victim of these scams:
- First and foremost never provide any personal information over the phone to anyone, unless you are certain that it is legitimate– that includes Social Security numbers, credit card information, bank accounts, or your date of birth. These pieces of personal information should be protected as you would a large sum of money.
- If you are unsure about the legitimacy of a phone call, trust your intuition, it is probably a scam. Hang up the phone and report it immediately. If it involves the IRS call them at 800-829-1040 and also notify the federal trade commission at www.ftc.gov.
These criminals tend to target the elderly, they sound official, they talk quickly and they use fear tactics. Knowing this can help you to be prepared should you receive one of these calls. Please talk to your family about these scams and make sure everyone understands how to protect themselves.
If you have questions or need additional resources, please dial 2-1-1.