Beware of the IRS Telephone Scam
By Bruce Dayno, Riverwoods Police Chief
In February, several Riverwoods and Deerfield residents received telephone calls from con artists claiming to be IRS representatives demanding money owed for back taxes. The Riverwoods Police Department put out an alert via telephone and email as soon as we were made aware of the calls. Thankfully, we received no reports of residents sending money.
The following is a description of the Internal Revenue Service Scam.
The caller purports to be an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) representative. Using intimidation tactics, the caller tries to take control of the situation from the beginning. The caller advises the recipient of the call that the IRS has charges against them and threatens legal action and arrest. If the recipient questions the caller in any way, the caller becomes more aggressive.
The caller continues to intimidate by threatening to confiscate the recipient’s property, freeze bank accounts, and have the recipient arrested and placed in jail. The reported alleged charges include defrauding the government, money owed for back taxes, law suits pending against the recipient, and nonpayment of taxes.
The recipients are advised that it will cost thousands of dollars in fees/court costs to resolve this matter. The caller creates a sense of urgency by saying that being arrested can be avoided and fees reduced if the recipient purchases Moneypak cards to cover the fees within an hour.
Sometimes the caller provides specific instructions on where to purchase the Moneypak cards and the amount to put on each card. The caller tells the recipient not to tell anyone about the issue and to remain on the telephone until the Moneypak cards are purchased and the Moneypak codes are provided to the caller. The caller states that if the call is disconnected for any reason, the recipient would be arrested. Some recipients reported that once the caller obtained the Moneypak codes, they were advised that the transaction took too long and additional fees were required.
Call recipients have reported that the caller spoke with broken English or stated the caller had an Indian accent.
If you receive a similar call, follow these tips:
- Resist the pressure to act quickly.
- Report the contact to TIGTA at http://www.treasury.gov/tigta by clicking on the red button, “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting.”
- Use caution when asked to use a specific payment method. The IRS would not require a specific payment method such as a Moneypak card or wire transfer.
Anytime you are pressured on the telephone to send money immediately, it is likely a scam, especially if you are promised money but must first send in “administrative or legal fees.” Contact the Police Department if you are uncertain.
Individuals who have fallen victim to these types of scams should notify the police and file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center, http://www.ic3.gov.
These scammers like to prey on senior citizens. Please take the time to discuss this information with friends, neighbors, and relatives whom you feel may be potential victims.
For more information, contact Chief of Police Bruce Dayno at 847-945-1130 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The Village has phone numbers for most residents in our Resident Notification System, but many residents have not supplied email addresses. For non-urgent messages, the Village may only send out emails. If you are currently only receiving telephone notifications and would like to add an email contact, please call Police Records at 847-945-1130.