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Law enforcement on scams: IRS won’t call you, ask for money

By Shavonne Walker

shavonne.walker@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — It’s going around seemingly now more than ever. No, it’s not the latest stomach virus, it’s someone claiming to be the IRS calling to ask for money.

Don’t be fooled. It is a scam, says local law enforcement.

It’s been dubbed the “IRS phone scam,” and Rowan residents are not immune.

The caller, who sometimes has a “foreign” accent says he or she is with the IRS and demands a payment. Sometimes, victims say, the caller seems angry or aggressive and says the money must be paid immediately or that the victim is entitled to big refunds, but only if the victim sends a smaller payment.

Capt. John Sifford of the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office said this particular scam has been going on for a while now, and there are several red flags.

“The IRS will never contact anyone via the phone,” Sifford said.

He said the IRS will also never want a payment of any type through a credit card, gift card or debit card.

The IRS contacts customers through mail or via the service of civil papers by a sheriff’s deputy.

“The IRS will never contact anyone by phone demanding payment right away, and definitely not via any type of card purchased at a store,” he said.

He advises that if anyone receives a call from someone “pretending” to be with the IRS, they should hang up, and if the caller persists, then the potential victim should call their local law enforcement agency.

The IRS recommends that people who know they owe or think they owe taxes contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040, but if a person has no reason to believe they owe money and believes someone is trying to scam them, report the call to the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484.

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