Bethlehem Police are warning residents not to divulge personal information over the phone after more than 100 residents reported IRS scam calls to police.
“In the last several days, Bethlehem Police have received over 100 calls from town residents reporting they are being called by someone stating they are representing the IRS,” said Police Chief Louis Corsi on Monday, Feb. 8.
“The caller tells the person that they owe large sums of money to the IRS and that if they do not pay the money immediately, a warrant for their arrest will be issued.”
These calls are fictitious and are not from the IRS, said police. It is believed that the calls are originating from outside of the United States, and that they are part of a much larger fraud ring.
Bethlehem Police are warning residents to not divulge personal information to these callers and to not send any money to the individuals calling.
The Federal Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) and the IRS are aware of this ongoing scam, which has hit multiple parts of the country.
“Taxpayers across the nation face a deluge of these aggressive phone scams. Don’t be fooled by callers pretending to be from the IRS in an attempt to steal your money,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen in a statement. “We continue to say if you are surprised to be hearing from us, then you’re not hearing from us.”
If you owe federal taxes, or think you might, hang up and call the IRS at 800-829-1040 for help with your payment questions.
Anyone who receives or has received a suspicious call from someone claiming to be with the IRS asking for payment, should fill out the IRS Impersonation Scam form on the TIGTA website, www.tigta.gov. or call TIGTA at 800-366-4484.
You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.FTC.gov and add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments in your complaint.
Residents can also go to www.ic3.gov and file an online complaint.
If you are unsure of the legitimacy of the call you are receiving, contact your local police and remember to not give out or even confirm any personal information that the caller may be seeking.