PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) – State officials are warning residents about an ongoing IRS scam.
The Pawtucket Police Department said that several people in the city and throughout the country have been contacted by these scammers.
The caller identifies him or herself as an agent of the IRS, then claims the person on the phone owes back taxes.
The target is threatened with arrest, driver’s license suspension, foreclosure and other penalties, if an immediate payment is not made. The callers are often aggressive, rude and become argumentative when questioned.
- MORE INFO ONLINE: IRS Scams »
Recipients of these calls appear to be randomly selected. Members of the Pawtucket Police Department, the IRS, and even Mayor Donald Grebien have received these calls.
According to RI Attorney General Peter Kilmartin, his office has received hundreds of complaints about these calls in the past few months.
“At one time we said the IRS will never call you. Well, last year congress passed a bill which allowed for debt collectors to call on behalf of the government,” he said. “But what people need to understand is if that call comes, they will not demand money over the phone.”
Kilmartin said the callers will never ask for personal information over the phone.
If you receive such a call:
- DO NOT provide the caller with any account, personal, bank, or financial information. Under no circumstances should an individual send funds to these callers, or anyone you do not know.
- Make note of any information on your caller ID
- Hang up
- Call and report the incident to the US Treasury Inspector General at 800-366-4484 or email at www.tigta.gov
- Contact your local authorities or the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit at 401-274-4400
If you do fall victim to a schemer, make sure to report it to local authorities. Then, add a fraud alert to your credit report to prevent fraudsters from taking out loans of credit cards in your name.
See more from Attorney General Peter Kilmartin in the video below: