February 12, 2017
IRS Telephone Scam
(Washington, DC) – The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) is informing the public about a consumer scam where aggressive telephone calls are being made by scammers posing as Internal Revenue Service (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 Metropolitan Police Department, 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 someone claiming to be an MPD detective calls you regarding taxes, you can call MPD at 202-727-9099 to verify or report the call.
If you have further questions regarding this scam, please contact MPD’s Financial and Cyber Crimes Unit at 202-727-4159 or mpd.fraud-unit