Latah County Scam Alert

Photo: Latah County Sheriff's Office

LATAH COUNTY - The Latah County Sheriff's Office would like to inform the public there is a large phone scam currently going around in the area where people are asking for your personal information in relation to your taxes. These scammers are posing as the IRS or other government agencies and are trying to extort money and personal information from the caller.

Callers claiming to be from the IRS tell intended victims they owe taxes and must pay using a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer. The scammers threaten those who refuse to pay with arrest, deportation or loss of a business or driver’s license.

The callers who commit this fraud often:

  •  Use common names and fake IRS badge numbers.
  •  Know the last four digits of the victim’s Social Security number.
  •  Make caller ID appear as if the IRS is calling.
  •  Send bogus IRS emails to support their scam.
  •  Call a second time claiming to be the police or DMV, and caller ID again supports their claim.

The truth is the IRS usually first contacts people by mail – not by phone – about unpaid taxes. And the IRS won’t ask for payment using a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer. The agency also won’t ask for a credit card number over the phone.

If you get a call from someone claiming to be with the IRS asking for a payment, here’s what to do:

  •  If you owe federal taxes, or think you might owe 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.
  • You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at FTC.gov. Add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments in your complaint.