IRS Scam Warning

NEWS RELEASE #: 17-079

The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office is warning citizens to be cautious about a telephone scam commonly known as the "IRS Scam", popping up on the suncoast during tax season.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued warnings about this scam for several years, but unfortunately, some citizens are either not aware of it or when they receive these calls, aren't sure if they are credible.

According to the IRS, con artists claiming to be IRS employees sound convincing and use fake names and phony IRS ID badge numbers when they call. They may know details about the victim or trick them into revealing private information. Some scammers will demand payments via iTunes gift cards, Green Dot Prepaid Cards, MoneyPak Prepaid Cards, Reloadit Prepaid Debit Cards, and other prepaid credit cards. The IRS wants to remind citizens that no legitimate Unites States Treasury or IRS official will demand that payments via Western Union, MoneyGram, bank wire transfers, or bank deposits be made into another person's account for any debt to the IRS or Treasury. A true investigation or lawsuit by the IRS will be handled in person or through certified mail.

The IRS also requests that all instances are reported directly to their agency since these scams often involve the impersonation of an IRS employee. Citizens can visit https://www.treasury.gov/tigta/ for more information or file a complaint using this direct link: https://www.treasury.gov/tigta/contact_report_scam.shtml. Finally, if you know or think you might owe taxes, call the IRS directly at 1.800.829.1040.