The Sweetwater County Sheriff’s office is warning residents of a new scam where people are receiving automated calls from what sounds like the IRS, alerting the target that they have delinquent property taxes. The recorded message will then prompt the victim to call a number in order to settle their delinquent taxes. If the victim calls back, this indicates to the scammer that they may be a potential victim as they were concerned enough to return the call. The callers will then be asked to provide prompt payment through a credit or debit card or a wire transfer. If the victim refuses or begins asking questions, the scammer will often threaten a visit from law enforcement, arrest, arrest of a spouse, or a driver’s license revocation. The scammers use fake names and sometimes even provide a fictitious IRS badge number. They may even know the last four digits of the victim’s Social Security number, all in an effort to make the swindle sound more convincing. If you receive a call if this nature, contact the IRS immediately, to confirm that you do in fact owe delinquent taxes. A list of tips to help spot scams of this nature is available below.
Genuine communications from the IRS begin with a letter, not a phone call. Other tip-offs that such calls are a scam include the following:
- Knowledge of the intended victim’s Social Security number or its last four digits.
- Recitation of the bogus IRS agent’s badge number.
- During the call, the sound of other, similar conversations can be heard in the background.
- The caller becomes rude and hostile and hangs up.
- Follow-up calls from a different person claiming to be an IRS agent.