Police Warn of IRS Phone Scam

Photo courtesy of flickr user Chris Campbell

Photo courtesy of flickr user Chris Campbell

In what is becoming an annual event, callers who pose as representatives of the Internal Revenue Service and demand immediate payment of back taxes are once again targeting our area. The Metropolitan Police Department today issued the following warning about this most recent scam and information on how to report scammers to the appropriate authorities.


“The Metropolitan Police Department is informing the public about a consumer scam where aggressive telephone calls are being made by scammers posing as IRS representatives.

These callers usually threaten arrest or prosecution if money is not immediately paid. Technology allows the scammer to “spoof” or alter the Caller ID to make it appear that the call is coming from legitimate law enforcement or IRS phone numbers. Most of these scams originate from overseas using VOIP phone services such as Skype or MagicJack. These services allow a scammer from any part of the world to obtain a phone number with any area code they wish. Many times the scammers choose a 202 area code to add legitimacy to their scam, due to the Treasury Department and other Federal Agencies being headquartered in Washington, D.C. 

The IRS will never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a tax bill.
  • Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a Greendot pre-paid card, or wire services such as Western Union or MoneyGram.
  • 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, immediately HANG UP. Under no circumstances should you engage them in conversation or provide any personal information. Also do one of the following:

If you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. The IRS employees can help you with a payment issue.

If you’ve been targeted by this scam, please report the incident by completing the following online report: http://www.treasury.gov/tigta/contact_report_scam.shtml

Also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov

Remember to add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your complaint.

If you have further questions regarding this scam, please contact the Financial and Cyber Crimes Unit at 202-727-4159 or mpd.fraud-unit@dc.gov.”

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