Beware of IRS scam

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The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) and local law enforcement is warning citizens to be aware of a tax season scam in which scammers pose as federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees and call South Carolinians in an effort to obtain money or personal information.

Citizens should beware of phone calls from numbers in area codes such as 202, 804, 917 and others in which the caller uses scare tactics and threats to get people to make a false tax payment. Scammers will also use caller ID spoofing techniques to alter the caller ID to make is appear the call is coming from a legitimate government agency. The scam artists may also copy official IRS letterhead to create emails and documents.

According to SLED, the IRS will not make phone calls to threaten, demand immediate payment, require payment be made in a certain way or ask for credit card and debit card numbers over the phone. Several local people have reported receiving a cal from a 917 number in which the caller was informing them that the IRS was filing a lawsuit against the taxpayer and to call the number to get more information about the case file.

Should taxes be owed, a payment letter will be sent. Anyone with questions whether taxes are owed may call the IRS at 1-800829-1040

Anyone receiving a phone call from someone posing as an IRS employee is advised not to provide any information to the caller and to hang up immediately. Then contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration’s “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page at www.treasury.gov/tigta to report the incident. Incidents can also be reported to the Federal Trade Commission using the “FTC Complaint Assistant” at www.FTC.gov and add IRS Telephone Scam in the notes.