LAUREL, Md. - The Laurel Police Department is warning residents about an IRS phone scam targeting people across the country. There have already been three reports of this phone scam in Laurel.
Scammers claim to be from the IRS and tell the intended victim they owe taxes and must pay with a pre-paid card or wire transfer or they will arrested, deported or lose a driver's license or business.
Characteristics of the scam can include:
- Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.
- Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security Number.
- Scammers “spoof” or imitate the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it’s the IRS calling.
- Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS emails to some victims to support their bogus calls
- Victims hear background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call site.
After threatening victims with jail time or a driver’s license revocation, scammers hang up and others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or DMV, and the caller ID supports their claim.
The IRS will contact first by mail, not by phone, and the IRS will not ask for any type of payment using pre-paid cards or wire transfers. And the IRS will not ask for a credit card number over the phone.
Here are some tips to help you if you receive one of these calls. If you owe or think you may owe federal taxes, hang up and call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you with your payment questions. If you don't owe taxes, call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484. And if you receive an email scam please forward the email to mailto:email@example.com.
If you suspect any type of fraud please call the Laurel Police Department at 301-498-0092.