State Officials Warn Connecticut Residents of IRS Phone Scam
For immediate release TUESDAY, APRIL 29, 2014
HARTFORD – Connecticut residents should be wary of scammers targeting taxpayers by representing that they're from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Attorney General George Jepsen, Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner William M. Rubenstein and Department of Revenue Services Commissioner Kevin B. Sullivan said today.
The officials noted a recent uptick in the number of complaints from residents about the scam phone calls, which can be particularly aggressive. The scammers tell potential victims that they owe money that must be paid immediately to the IRS and that they may face arrest from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or from local police if they do not pay.
"This is a version of a common scam where the caller uses threats to try to get money, and Connecticut residents need to be very aware that this is not a legitimate phone call," said Attorney General Jepsen. "Government agencies – including the FBI and the IRS – do not call people on the phone or send emails to demand money or threaten arrest. If you get this call, hang up, and never send the caller money."
“Scammers are becoming bolder in their demands and it’s important that consumers are just as firm in refusing to be coerced,” Commissioner Rubenstein said. “Despite their threats, these scoundrels aren’t IRS agents on their way to your home. If you receive this type of call, just hang up and notify your local police department.”
Said Commissioner Sullivan, “This is a crime that mainly targets low-income and non-English-speaking people because these scammers are counting on their victims being too afraid to say ‘No,’ or even report the crime after it has happened. The Department of Revenue Services, Attorney General’s Office and Department of Consumer Protection are here to serve all state residents and you should never be afraid to ask questions or ask for help.”
The IRS will always send taxpayers a written notification of any tax due through the U.S. mail. The IRS advises to do the following if you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS:
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 number can help you with a payment issue, if there really is an issue.
If you know you don't owe taxes, or have no reason to think that you owe taxes, then call and report the incident to the Treasure Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484.
If you've been targeted by this scam, you should also file a consumer complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov, and add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments of your complaint.
The IRS advises that there are other unrelated phone and email scams and solicitations that fraudulently claim to be from the IRS. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media to request personal and financial information.
The IRS does not ask for PINs, passwords or similar confidential access information for credit cards, banks or other financial accounts. Fraudulent emails purporting to be from the IRS should be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Consumers with questions can contact the Attorney General's Consumer Assistance Unit at 860-808-5420, the Department of Consumer Protection at 1-800-842-2649 or the Department of Revenue Services at 860-297-5962.