TRENTON - If you get a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS who says you owe back taxes, be careful. Kane In Your Corner warns a new scam is making the rounds just in time for tax season, and this one can be pretty sophisticated.
Kim Randall, of Trenton, got a call from what appeared to be a Washington, D.C. phone number. "He said, 'You owe money to the IRS,' and I said, 'No I don't,'" Randall says. When the caller threatened that she would be arrested within half an hour, Randall hung up, looked up the IRS phone number, and dialed it herself. The agency confirmed it was a scam.
IRS spokesman Mark Green tells Kane In Your Corner that Randall is just one of many people targeted by this scam, and while her caller was not particularly convincing, some are.
"They have technology that can make it appear they are calling from the Internal Revenue Service," Green says. "They may have the last four digits of your Social Security Number and in some cases, your name. So this alarms most individuals and unfortunately, they have fallen victim to this type of behavior."
Kane In Your Corner offers this advice to protect yourself:
· Don't be taken in by phone calls. The IRS will never call you to say you owe money without sending letters first.
· Don't allow yourself to be pressured into wiring money or making a credit card payment over the phone. Government agencies don't do business that way.
· Never give out personal information to someone who calls you on the phone. If they call you, they should know who you are.
· If you have doubts, hang up, look up the phone number of the agency that is purporting to call you, and call them directly.
· Don't be afraid to ask a caller for identification.
Kane In Your Corner asked Randall to call the scammer's phone number back while the camera was rolling. A person claiming to be "Officer Gary" answered. When Randall asked for his identification number, he immediately hung up.