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Fraud Alert: Sheriff's Office, IRS Not Calling to Collect Back Taxes

Over a dozen cases in recent months, according to Loudoun County Sheriff's Office.

Fraud Alert: Sheriff's Office, IRS Not Calling to Collect Back Taxes. Patch file photo
Fraud Alert: Sheriff's Office, IRS Not Calling to Collect Back Taxes. Patch file photo
Don't be scammed, particularly here at tax time.

From the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office:

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office is advising residents of an ongoing scam where the caller claims to be from the IRS and threatens arrest if back taxes or fines are not paid.

In a recent call, the scam artists added a new technique called “caller ID spoofing”, in an attempt to make their scam appear legitimate. 

On Thursday, a resident on Virginia Manor Terrace in Ashburn, received a call from a person claiming to be with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office who was working on behalf of the IRS. The caller claimed the victims owed back taxes to the IRS. The victim’s caller ID showed the call came from the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office. Caller ID’s can be susceptible to fraud as callers can deliberately falsify the number or name relayed on the Caller ID information to disguise their identity.

Detectives with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office Financial Crimes Unit have received over a dozen cases in recent months where victims reported receiving calls from unknown subjects claiming to be from the IRS or a local law enforcement agency. The victims are asked to pay the back taxes owed or a fine using pre-paid money cards. In most of our cases the caller has threatened arrest, and in some cases deportation. According to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, if the victims paid the amount owed, in some cases the scam artists would demand for them to pay additional fines.

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office reminds residents that the IRS will never ask for credit card numbers, pre-paid debit cards or make a request for a wire transfer. In most cases taxpayers with a tax issue will first likely be contacted via mail.

According to the IRS, if you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here’s what you should do:

•If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS employees at that line can help you with a payment issue – if there really is such an issue.

•If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes (for example, you’ve never received a bill or the caller made some bogus threats as described above), then call and report the incident to your local law enforcement agency and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1.800.366.4484.

•If you’ve been targeted by this scam, you should also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at FTC.gov.  Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments of your complaint.

If you are a resident of Loudoun County and believe you were a victim of this scam or of a similar scam, please contact the Loudoun County Sheriff’s at 703-777-1021 or file a report online at http://sheriff.loudoun.gov/reportonline.

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