Beware ‘Delinquent taxes’ phone scam
by Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office
November 12, 2013
The Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office (Rock Springs & Green River, Wyoming) issued a warning about a "delinquent taxes scam" circulating throughout the country, including local communities.
Sheriff Rich Haskell said his office has received a number of reports from people in Rock Springs and Green River who have received telephone calls from people claiming to be agents of the Internal Revenue Service, demanding payment of delinquent or otherwise unpaid income taxes.
Haskell said the pattern is for the caller to demand prompt payment with a credit or debit card or through a wire transfer. If the person called refuses or begins asking questions, the caller often threatens a visit from law enforcement, arrest, or a driver’s license revocation.
"These bogus callers use fake names and sometimes provide an IRS badge number," said Haskell. "Sometimes they will even know the last four digits of your Social Security number. It’s all part of making their con sound more convincing."
Officials said legitimate communications from the IRS begin with a letter, not a phone call. Other tipoffs that such calls are a scam include the following:
Knowledge of the intended victim’s Social Security number or its last four digits.
Recitation of the bogus IRS agent’s badge number.
During the call, the sound of other, similar conversations can be heard in the background.
The caller becomes rude and hostile and hangs up. Before long, a second, equally bogus call is received from a person claiming to be local law enforcement or a driver’s license official, threatening the prospective victim with arrest or other legal action if payment is not made.
Sheriff Haskell made the following recommendations to those who receive such calls: If you actually owe on your federal income taxes, contact the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040 to speak with a genuine official about your tax issues. If you know you don’t owe any income taxes, call 1-800-366-4484 to report the caller to the Treasury Inspector General.