Police warn of new IRS phone scam

ST. GEORGE – People are starting to get calls from someone claiming to be with the IRS and that those called allegedly owe money, the St. George Police reported Wednesday.

“Some (residents) in the St. George area have recently received suspicious calls and voice-mails on both their cell phone and home phones regarding some unresolved financial obligations with the Internal Revenue Service,” the St. George Police said in a statement.

The messages are prerecorded and feature a woman’s voice. The woman claims to be with the IRS and proceeds to leave a message that tells those called that they need to contact the woman and supply her with a call back number.

“The call ends by threatening legal problems if you do not return the call,” the police said.

The IRS does not use not prerecorded message, or simply call people “out of the blue” if there is an issue. Instead the agency will initiate contact through mail, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in an IRS scam warning posted in August.

Koskinen stated:

There are clear warning signs about these scams, which continue at high levels throughout the nation. 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. A big red flag for these scams are angry, threatening calls from people who say they are from the IRS and urging immediate payment. This is not how we operate. People should hang up immediately and contact (Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration) or the IRS.

There is a website available, CallerCenter.com, which is a free consumer complaints board for reporting telephone calls. This site allows individuals to report and check suspicious phone numbers.

People can also register to stop telemarketers from calling at the National Do Not Call Registry, 1-888-382-1222 or www.donotcall.gov, and also contact DMA Choice to reduce unwanted junk mail at www.dmachoice.org.

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Copyright St. George News, StGeorgeUtah.com Inc., 2014, all rights reserved.



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