Tax season is upon us, so the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office is warning citizens of a telephone scam that isn’t necessarily new.
The Internal Revenue Service has warned about the “IRS Scam” for many years, according to the sheriff’s office, but some people still fall for it.
The scam goes like this: Fake IRS employees with made up IRS ID badge numbers call and trick citizens into giving out private information, saying that the citizen owes the IRS or U.S. Treasury money. Some demand that citizens make payments by purchasing iTunes gift cards, Green Dot prepaid cards, MoneyPak prepaid cards, Reloadit prepaid debit cards or other prepaid cards. Others ask for payments through Western Union, MoneyGram, bank wire transfers or direct bank deposits into another person’s account.
No authentic U.S. Treasury or IRS employee will demand payments for any debts to the federal agencies. Real investigations or lawsuits by the IRS will be conducted in person or through mail. Those who think they owe taxes can call the IRS at 800-829-1040.
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More information can be found at the Tax Inspector General for Tax Administration website at Treasury.gov/tigta, or complaints can directly be submitted by going to Treasury.gov/tigta/contact_report_scam.shtml.