Beware latest phone financial scam, says Darien Police

The Darien Police Department recently created a Facebook post to warm residents about a sophisticated phone scam that is targeting taxpayers not only in Darien, but throughout the country.

Victims receive a phone call and are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. During the conversation the caller obtains the victim’s home address. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation, or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting.

After threatening victims with jail time or driver’s license revocation, scammers hang up and others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or DMV, and the caller ID supports their claim.

In a recent incident in Darien, a potential victim was contacted by someone claiming they were a Darien Police Officer who then threatened the victim with arrest. The scam was so complex that the caller I.D. was actually “spoofed,” and displayed the actual phone number to the Darien Police Department.

Taxpayers need to be aware so they can help protect themselves. The IRS does not and will not ask for credit card numbers over the phone, nor request a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer. If someone unexpectedly calls claiming to be from the IRS and threatens police arrest, deportation or license revocation if you don’t pay immediately, that is a sign that it really isn’t the IRS calling. The first IRS contact with taxpayers on a tax issue is likely to occur via mail.

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

· 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.

If you’ve been targeted by this scam, you should also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments of your complaint.