On August 15, a 76-year-old Prescott Valley resident was the victim of an IRS confidence scam. A caller claiming to be an IRS agent told the victim there were criminal tax charges against him, and if he hung up the phone police would show up at his door and arrest him. The caller knew the victim’s address.
The caller instructed the victim to go to the bank and obtain a $9,000 cashier’s check, then go to the post office and overnight mail the check to an address in Colorado Springs. The caller told the victim that once the check was mailed and a tracking number supplied, the charges would be dropped. The amount represented all of the victim’s available savings.
The victim was suspicious of the incident and came to the police department to report it. Through teamwork with the Postal Inspector’s Office, the parcel containing the check was intercepted in Colorado and is in the process of being returned to the victim. Helping this victim would not have been possible without the quick teamwork employed between Prescott Valley Police patrol officers, Prescott Valley Police Criminal Investigations Section, and the Postal Inspector’s Office.
Additionally, it is important for taxpayers to know that the IRS will NEVER:
- Call to demand immediate payment over the phone, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
- Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
- Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
- Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer.
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money and you don’t owe taxes, here’s what you should do:
- Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
- Contact TIGTA to report the call:
Web page Contact: IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting - U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) or call 800-366-4484.
Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.
- If you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS directly at 800-829-1040.
As always, you can call the Prescott Valley Police Department at 928-772-9267 to speak to an officer, or dial 911 for emergencies.
In May, an IRS agent spoke about recent scams and cons: