Contact Information 

District Office
1555 Highlands Drive
Suite 110
Lititz, PA 17543
Phone:  (717) 626-1776
FAX:  (717) 626-4234

Capitol Office
51A East Wing
PO Box 202097
Harrisburg PA 17120-2097
Phone: (717) 787-1776

E-Mail:  
smentzer@pahousegop.com

Scam Alert: That Isn’t the IRS on the Line
8/19/2016
Scam artists are working multiple angles to get your hard-earned money. One of the most common tactics is the use of an aggressive phone scam, in which the caller claims to be with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

This particular phone scam has been reported across the United States. Victims typically receive a phone call in which callers (usually with foreign accents) claim to be IRS employees. Using false names and IRS identification badge numbers, the scammers are quite convincing and often know a lot about their targets. They also alter the telephone caller ID to make it appear as though the IRS is calling.

Victims are informed that they owe money to the IRS, and, if they protest, they are threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. Many victims are justifiably fearful of such consequences, and provide the requested personal and financial information to satisfy their “back taxes.”

Some victims were reportedly told they were owed a refund, as an attempt to trick them into providing personal information. According to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), more than 10,000 calls per week have been made to households across the country.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received nearly 55,000 complaints regarding IRS imposter scams last year, a 25 percent increase from 2013. In the last two years, more than 400,000 people have filed complaints with the U.S. Treasury Department in reference to IRS imposters. According to federal officials, more than 3,000 people have been defrauded out of more than $15 million.

Because many of these scams originate from outside the country, they are difficult for law enforcement to investigate. For that reason, consumer education is the best way to safeguard your money.

The IRS reminds people that it is fairly simple to spot an IRS imposter. Listed below are five things the scammers often do, but the IRS will not. 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 the agency call regarding taxes owed without first having mailed you a notice.
  2. Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  3. Threaten to contact local police or other law enforcement agencies to have you arrested for not paying.
  4. Require you use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
  5. Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
If you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS requesting money or bank account information for a refund, you should report the incident to TIGTA at 1-800-366-4484 or at tigta.gov. You can also 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.

Remember, the IRS does not use unsolicited email, text messages or any social media to discuss your personal taxes.

Representative Steven Mentzer
97th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Abbey Fosnot
717.260.6222
afosnot@pahousegop.com
RepMentzer.com / Facebook.com/RepMentzer

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