Scammer Posing as an IRS Representative
Clarksville, TN – On April 11th, 2016, a Clarksville Police Officer responded to an IRS scam. In the incident below, the caller poses as an IRS representative and tells the victim that he has unpaid taxes and threatens to freeze the victim’s accounts if he does not comply with his demands.
The following narrative gives details to this IRS scam and provides examples of scam tactics:
On April 12th, 2016, a Clarksville Police Officer responded to a Fraud/False Pretense call at a residence on the 200 block of Cunningham Lane. The victim advised that on April 11th, 2016 he received a telephone call from an individual who said his name was “Ronnie Williams.” Williams claimed he worked for the IRS and told the victim he had several years of unpaid taxes.
The victim said that Williams sounded very convincing, even giving him a case number (ARK711329TX) that referenced his unpaid taxes. Williams told the victim that he needed to send iTunes gift card codes over the phone after they were purchased and activated.
The victim went to a local store at Williams’ request to purchase four iTunes gift cards. The first purchase totaled just under $2,000.00, and the second purchase of 10 cards totaled just under $5,000.00. The victim gave the codes for all 14 cards to Williams over the phone and thought that his debt was paid.
On April 12th, 2016, the victim was contacted again by Williams for more iTunes gift card codes. Williams told the victim that if he didn’t send any more cards, the IRS would freeze his accounts and he would owe more money. After being called on April 12th, 2016 for more cards, the victim contacted law enforcement. The total amount sent from the victim to Williams was just under $7,000.00.
The Following is from the IRS Website
The IRS will NOT:
- Call you to demand immediate payment. The IRS will not call you if you owe taxes without first sending you a bill in the mail.
- Demand that you pay taxes and not allow you to question or appeal the amount you owe.
- Require that you pay your taxes a certain way. For instance, require that you pay with a prepaid debit card.
- Ask for your credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
Threaten to bring in police or other agencies to arrest you for not paying.
- If you don’t owe taxes, or have no reason to think that you do:
- Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
- Contact TIGTA to report the call. Use their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page. You can also call 800.366.4484.
- Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on www.FTC.gov . Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.
If you know you owe, or think you may owe tax:
- Call the IRS at 800.829.1040. IRS workers can help you.
Phone scams first tried to sting older people, new immigrants to the U.S. and those who speak English as a second language. Now the crooks try to swindle just about anyone. And they’ve ripped-off people in every state in the nation.
Stay alert to scams that use the IRS as a lure. Tax scams can happen any time of year, not just at tax time. For more, visit “Tax Scams and Consumer Alerts” on IRS.gov.
Each and every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS. These are your Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Explore your rights and our obligations to protect them on www.IRS.gov