Big Bear, CA, November 6, 2015 – The Big Bear Sheriff’s Station has received numerous reports of a telephone scam wherein callers falsely identify themselves as representatives of the IRS and make demands for immediate payment of back taxes with Green Dot or other prepaid debit cards. These thieves use the IRS name to try to steal money or identities from targeted victims. They can be persuasive on the phone and sometimes use the threat of being audited, sued, or even arrested to trick their victims into transferring funds to them or providing personal information that is later used in identity theft cases.
Culprits of this scam are also leaving voicemail messages stating that a lawsuit will be filed and directing the intended victim to contact the IRS at a bogus telephone number. If you receive this type of message, do not call the number, as it is part of the scam.
Here are several tips from the IRS to help you avoid being a victim of these tax scams. The IRS will not:
*Initiate contact with you by phone, e-mail, text or social media to ask for your personal or financial information.
*Call you about taxes you owe without first mailing you a bill.
*Call you and demand immediate payment.
*Require that you pay your taxes via prepaid debit card.
The Big Bear Sheriff’s Station encourages families to talk to each other, especially elderly members, to make them aware of this and similar scams so that they do not fall prey and become victims. Incidents can be reported to your local law enforcement agency or on the IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting page of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at treasury.gov.