The Montana Department of Justice Issues Two Separate Phone Scam Alerts
The Office of Consumer Protection at the Montana Department of Justice wants to alert the public to two different phone scams happening in Montana and other parts of the country:
DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS ARREST WARRANT SCAM:
Citizens are receiving calls from scammers telling them that the Department of Corrections has issued an arrest warrant for them, and that they will go to jail if they don’t call the number provided. Callers are telling prospective victims that they will text them payment directions and that the victims owe several hundreds of dollars. The caller goes on to threaten prospective victims with jail by the end of the business day if they do not pay. The scammers use extremely aggressive tactics, including telling prospective victims that the phone call is being recorded, as well as stating that the arrest warrants are ready to be forwarded and if they don’t follow the texted directions to their phone number on how to pay, that they will go to jail.
WHAT TO DO:
If you or a family member receives one of these calls, your best bet is to hang up.
But if you do get into a conversation, don’t give anyone money or credit/debit card information over the phone, and don’t trust callers who use threats or insults to bully you. Don’t be pressured into mailing Green Dot cards or giving out personal information.
Report the incident to local law enforcement. You may also call us at the Montana Department of Justice’s Office of Consumer Protection at (800) 481-6896 or (406) 444-4500, or visit us at https://dojmt.gov/consumer
This scam has been called the largest of its kind, and has targeted taxpayers across the country. Victims have reported threats of license suspension, arrest and deportation.
What makes this scam so tricky? The scammers impersonate Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents and demand payment for taxes owed, and often:
* Know the last four digits of the victim’s Social Security number;
* Make caller ID appear as if the IRS is calling;
* Send follow-up bogus IRS emails to support their scam
Scammers often claim to be government officials from other agencies threatening arrest and attempt to scare you into releasing financial information.
WHAT TO DO:
Know that the IRS usually contacts people by mail, not by phone, about unpaid taxes.
The IRS won’t ask for payment using a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer, nor will they involve law enforcement or immigration agencies. If you or a family member receives one of these calls, your best bet is to hang up. But if you do get into a conversation, don’t give anyone money or credit card information over the phone and don’t trust callers who use threats or insults to bully you.
Report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484. You may also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at http://www.ftc.gov
If you owe or think you owe federal taxes, call the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040 to verify information.
Call us at the Montana Department of Justice’s Office of Consumer Protection at (800) 481-6896 or (406) 444-4500, or visit us at https://dojmt.gov/consumer
For more information, visit http://www.irs.gov.