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Friday, December 14 , 2018, 5:39 am | Fair 50º


Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office Warns Citizens of IRS Phone Scam Reports

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office is once again experiencing a large volume of calls from citizens reporting an IRS Phone Scam.

In this particular scam, the caller claims to be from the Internal Revenue Service or United States Department of the Treasury and informs the caller that they owe an outstanding tax bill.

The scammer then tries to con the targeted victim into sending cash through a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer.

They may also leave urgent callback requests through “robo-calls” or via a “phishing” e-mail.

The scammers can use caller ID spoofing to make it look as if the call is coming from the IRS or another agency.

They may also use IRS titles or fake badge numbers and use the victim’s name, address and other personal information to make the call sound official.

If you get a call from someone claiming to be with the IRS asking for a payment, or your credit card or bank account information, do not give personal or financial information out over the phone without ensuring that the call is legitimate.

Here is what to do:

— If you owe Federal taxes, or think you might owe taxes, hang up and call the IRS at 800.829.1040.

— If you do not owe taxes, fill out the “IRS Impersonation Scam” form on the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration’s (TIGTA) website, www.tigta.gov or call TIGTA at 800.366.4484.

— You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.FTC.gov. Add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments in your complaint.

It is important to note that the IRS does not:

— Call to let you know you owe taxes without first sending you a bill in the mail.

— Require you to pay your taxes with a pre-paid debit card.

— Ask for your credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

— Threaten to bring in local law enforcement to arrest you for not paying.

— Kelly Hoover is public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office. 


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