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Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office warns of IRS phone scams

Sheriff Jerry Clayton and the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind you to be aware of potential IRS Phone Scams and to be prepared.

Now that taxes have been filed and many are awaiting a refund or paying off a tax bill, IRS imposters may attempt to take advantage. Criminals are looking for ways to steal your money or your identity. Don’t fall victim to an IRS scam.

Your first contact with the IRS will not be an unexpected call from an IRS agent but through official correspondence sent through the mail. A red flag for IRS scams are threatening, angry calls from people who say they are from the IRS or your local police agency and they demand immediate payment.

Please know that the Sheriff’s Office does not make calls on behalf of the IRS and that these calls are scams. Even if the caller ID shows as the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office, remember we do not call on behalf of the IRS.

The IRS will not:

  • Call you to demand immediate payment
  • Call you if you owe taxes without first sending you a bill in the mail
  • Demand that you pay taxes and not allow you to question or appeal the amount you owe
  • Require that you pay your taxes a certain way. For instance, require that you pay with a prepaid debit card
  • Ask for your credit or debit card numbers over the phone
  • Threaten to bring in police or other agencies to arrest you for not paying

Also beware of scammers calling under the guise of verifying your tax return information over the phone. Scam artists call saying they have your tax return, and they just need to verify a few details to process your return. The scam tries to get you to give up personal information such as a Social Security number or personal financial information.

There are numerous variations of scams out there so remember, if someone calls asking for or demanding personal financial information or payment over the phone beware.

If you receive a phone call or voicemail from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here’s what you should do:

  • If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. The IRS employees at that line can help you with a payment issue, if there really is such an issue.
  • If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes (for example, you’ve never received a bill or the caller made some bogus threats as described above), then call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484 or online at https://www.treasury.gov/tigta/contact_report_scam.shtml

 

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