by A.C. Hall
A recent telephone scam where callers pretend to be with the IRS has started calling numbers in White Settlement. The White Settlement Police Department has received multiple reports from people who have received the calls. One such person who received a call from the scam artists was White Settlement City Council member Steve Ott.
The scam attempts to scare people into making a payment over the phone by threatening things like audits, arrests, license revocation, and even deportation for unpaid taxes. The caller will prompt victims to make a payment over the phone, usually trying to get the victim to use a prepaid debit/credit card or a wire transfer. Their equipment for calling is able to trick caller I.D. systems, sometimes making it look as if the call is legitimately coming from the IRS.
One thing to remember when dealing with the IRS is that they always initiate contact via letter. IRS.gov states that the IRS will never call regarding taxes owed without having sent a letter first.
“There are clear warning signs about these scams, which continue at high levels throughout the nation,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “Taxpayers should remember their first contact with the IRS will not be a call from out of the blue, but through official correspondence sent through the mail.”
If you are called by someone claiming to be from the IRS who is talking about taxes owed and have not received a letter first, it’s a good bet you’re dealing with a scam.
The IRS also states on their website that they’ll never demand a specific type of payment such as wire transfer or prepaid credit card and that they’ll never threaten to have those who owe taxes arrested. They also state that they’ll never ask for a credit or debit card number over the phone. The WSPD states on their Facebook page that some of the area codes the IRS scammers have used are 210, 220, and 865.