Business / Local / National / Virginia

Norfolk Police warn of IRS phone scam

Photo provided by Norfolk Police Department.

Photo provided by Norfolk Police Department.

NORFOLK, Va. – Norfolk police are warning residents to be wary of a phone scam involving Internal Revenue Service impersonators.

In the past five months, police have filed over 30 police reports from people stating the IRS had called them, and they were threatened with arrest if they did not pay an outstanding tax bill immediately. Often times the victim, through intimidation, is asked to provide personal information, or to make a payment by pre-paid credit cards or wire transfers.

Scams involving IRS impersonators are far too common, both in Norfolk and nationally.

Scammers are now utilizing spoofing software to alter the caller ID number that will show up on your caller ID to reflect either the IRS, or even a local police department.

“This is an ongoing issue, and these scams have affected many people” Sergeant Hodgis of the Norfolk Police Department’s Fraud Division said. “Norfolk Police, or the IRS will NEVER call and demand immediate payment or threaten you with arrest.”

Many people unfortunately fall victim to this scam.

The IRS wants to remind residents that they will never:

• Call and demand immediate payment, nor will they call about taxes owed without having mailed you a bill.
• Demand you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
• Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit/credit card.
• Ask for your credit/debit card number over the phone.
• Threaten to send the local police or other law enforcement agencies to have you arrested for not paying.

Should you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be an agent of the IRS, NEVER provide the caller with any financial, or personal information. Write down any information on your caller ID and then hang up immediately. Call and report the incident to the US Treasury Inspector General at 800-366-4484.

If you fall victim to this scam, contact the Norfolk Police Department’s Economic Crime Division at 757-664-7018 to file a fraud report. Then, add a fraud alert to your credit report to prevent scammers from taking out loans or credit cards in your name.