Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

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July 18, 2014

ISP warns about IRS scam

The latest scam that is circulating in Indiana involves individuals claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service, according to a Nixle message from the Indiana State Police.

Officials are investigating a phone scam involving callers who impersonate IRS representatives and demand immediate payments with pre-paid debit cards and wire transfers. The caller often claims the victim owes thousands of dollars in overdue taxes. According to the IRS, the agency would always make contact with the taxpayer first by mail or with a personal visit.

The scam continues when the caller tells the victim he cannot use standard forms of payment, specifically a credit card to pay the taxes. The caller tries to justify why the money has to be wired to a PayPal account or paid using a prepaid debit card. If the caller is unsuccessful talking to the victim, the scammer will then threaten the victim with an arrest warrant. The IRS doesn’t have the authority to issue warrants.

In this scam, as with most of them, the calls are originating from cell phones or over the Internet from all over the U.S., and tracking down the 21st century con artist is no easy task. The ISP feels that a well-informed public is the best defense in combating scammers, and they remind everyone that these phone scams and cyber crimes are becoming commonplace.

Those who feel they may have been a victim of this scam should contact the treasury inspector general at http://www.treasury.gov/tigta/contact_report_scam.shtml.

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