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Sheriff Warns Of IRS Phone Scam

MADERA COUNTY – Sheriff Jay Varney is warning residents about several reports of attempted telephone scams where the caller claims to be with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or an IRS Investigative Service.

The caller attempts to convince the potential victim that money is owed or a lawsuit has been filed.

The Madera County Sheriff’s Office has received reports from Madera County Chief Probation Officer Rick Dupree, Madera County Sheriff’s Deputy Josh Cushing, and a loyal Madera County Sheriff Facebook follower. The scam artist went so far as to tell Deputy Cushing to provide him with his (Deputy Cushing’s) ID number so that “charges could be filed.”

The phone calls are showing various caller ID’s including (206) 866-5656, (360) 851-1350, and (718) 713-8226.

The IRS reminds people that they can know pretty easily when a supposed IRS caller is a fake. Here are five things the scammers often do but the IRS will not do. Any one of these five things is a tell-tale sign of a scam. The IRS will never:

1. Call to demand immediate payment, nor will they call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.

2. Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.

3. Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.

4. Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

5. Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, here’s what you should do:

• If you know you owe taxes or think you might owe, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS workers can help you with a payment issue.

• If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to believe that you do, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1.800.366.4484 or at www.tigta.gov.

• You can file a complaint using the FTC Complaint Assistant; choose “Other” and then “Imposter Scams.” If the complaint involves someone impersonating the IRS, include the words “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.

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