Many times, con artists pretend to be something they’re not, and they find it very rewarding if they can use the name of a legitimate government agency to create fear in their victims. Victims are left fearing that they will be arrested or sued if they refuse to comply with the demand.
Imposters are using the “You owe a debt to the IRS” trick at this time.
I’ve received several recent reports where the selected victim gets a call or an official looking letter that specifies or contains accurate personal information. The victim then gets a threat that if their debt to the IRS is not paid off immediately by money wire, an arrest will be made or a lawsuit will be filed. DON’T BELIEVE ANY OF IT. Federal government agencies and Federal employees don’t ask people, NOR are they even PERMITTED TO ASK you to wire money to pay for a debt.
Here’s how to deal with these scammers. Look up the official telephone number of the government agency in question, and give them a telephone call yourself to find out the truth. If you really do owe money to the IRS, you have rights under the FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT and you can work with the IRS to clear your debt.
And remember these 5 important points:
1. Don’t wire any money AT ALL.
2. Don’t pay for any prize.
3. Don’t give any caller your personal or financial information.
4. Don’t trust any name or number you see on your caller ID.
5. DO place your telephone number on the DO NOT CALL REGISTRY. Scammers don’t abide by the laws, and you will become suspicious of all calls that arrive out of the blue.
Report these scams to the Federal Trade Commission which will help them to identify the source of the calls or mailings during their investigation with other Law Enforcement agencies. Every bit of information HELPS!!!.
From the desk of Officer Jane Constant
Senior Relations Division
Nashua Police Department