Richland County Crimestoppers Crime of the Week
This week Richland County Crimestopper is a Consumer Alert on a scam that is continually hitting our country and Richland County is not being left out. Law Enforcement in Richland County has received reports of many different scams over the years, but the IRS Scam is one being reported the most lately. In the United States thousands of people have lost millions of dollars and their personal information to tax scams and fake IRS communication. Victims in Richland County have reported thousands of dollars lost to those claiming to be IRS agents.
How are these IRS-Impersonation Telephone Scams working.
Callers claim to be employees of the IRS, but are not. These con artists can sound convincing when they call. They use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. They may know a lot about their targets, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling. Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer (money order or bank transfer). If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation and insults. Or, victims may be told they have a refund due to try to trick them into sharing private information. If the phone isn’t answered, the scammers often leave an “urgent” callback request. They will call repeated times and demand payment be sent trying to break the victim down.
Please always remember the following facts about the IRS
THEY WILL NEVER:
Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail you a bill if you owe taxes.
Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
Scammers Change Tactics -- Aggressive and threatening phone calls by criminals impersonating IRS agents remain a major threat to taxpayers, but variation of the IRS impersonation scam continue year-round.
How to report Tax-Related Schemes, Scams, Identity Theft and Fraud.
Report instances of IRS-related phishing attempts and fraud to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484
Remember: The IRS doesn’t initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. In addition, IRS does not threaten taxpayers with lawsuits, imprisonment or other enforcement action. Being able to recognize these telltale signs of a phishing or tax scam could save you from becoming a victim.
“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!!!!”
CRIMESTOPPERS reminds everyone to be careful and not to become a victim of a phone or social media scam. You do not win prizes or lotteries that you didn’t enter, and then have to pay fees to get your prize money or gift. If you have knowledge or information on any crimes in Richland County, contact CRIMESTOPPERS by calling 433-6666 Monday through Friday between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM. You can also contact Crimestoppers in Richland County anytime (24/7) by going to our New Crimestoppers website at http://www.richlandcs.com then going to Submit a Web Tip or by texting the code “CSRC plus your message to: 274637 (CRIMES). You can also contact the Richland County Sheriff’s Office at 406-433-2919
Richland County Crimestoppers is asking anyone in the Savage and Lambert Communities that would be interested in serving on the Crimestoppers board in Richland County to please notify Undersheriff Robert Burnison with the Richland County Sheriff’s Office at 406-433-2919
** Check the Wanted Person section of the Richland County Crimestoppers website http://www.richlandcs.com each week for those wanted in Richland County. At least one new entry will be posted each week with photo if available. Crimestoppers is asking for information that would help lead to the arrest of those with an active warrant in Richland County.
Remember: As with all Crimestoppers tips, calls are not recorded and the call will remain confidential. You may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1000.00 for information concerning this case or any other serious crime.