3 On Your Side
WARNING!

Fake IRS calls spike

Posted: Updated:
(Source: MGN Online) (Source: MGN Online)
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

3 On Your Side has warned you about this scam before but it still seems to be a problem.

[RELATED: 3OYS Update: IRS agents can't seem to stop phone scammers]
 
In fact, the IRS just issued an alert telling people not to fall for it.

John Barr may be retired, but he hasn't slowed down much. In fact, Barr is quite busy during this time of year.

"During tax season, I'm preparing taxes," he said. "I'm a paid tax-preparer."

Barr says he's pretty knowledgeable when it comes to taxes, so he thought it was kind of unusual when he received a message from someone claiming to be with the Internal Revenue Service.

"It was a bit annoying because I knew that it was a scam because I know that the IRS does not contact people by phone," he said.

He's right about that, the IRS never initiates contact via telephone.

Still, Barr and thousands of people across the nation are getting voice mails like this:

Scammer: "Hello, this call is officially a final notice from the IRS, the Internal Revenue Service. The reason for this call is to inform you the IRS is filing a lawsuit against you." 

Even though Barr knew it was a scam, he decided to call the scammer back to see what he or she would tell him

"When I called them back, they said they are with the IRS and you owe a debt and we want you to pay this off," he explained. "They told me it was around $4,000."

Barr says he told the scammer he couldn't come up with that kind of money, but he could come up with around $500.

"And he said, 'No, can't you do any more?' And I said maybe I could scrape together a $1,000, and he seemed satisfied with that," Barr told us.

Barr was supposed to go to Wal-Mart and wire that $500 but this senior citizen said he had enough with the scammer and told him to pound sand; he wasn't wiring anything.

[RELATED: Arizona attorney general issues warning about IRS phone scam]

[RELATED: IRS scams on the rise during tax season]

But people do all the time. In fact, the IRS just issued and alert, saying the scam has bilked people out of an estimated $26.5 million over the past two years.

Barr says that's the reason he contacted 3 On Your Side.

"People are entitled to know this is going on and I would be very bothered if I knew people fell for it," he said.

Keep in mind, these con-men will not give up. They'll try to intimidate you, not only threatening to have you arrested but also to saying they will send agents to your workplace.

Again, Do not fall for it. If you get a phone call, hang up. If you get a voice mail, do not call the number back.

Remember, the IRS won’t call you and demand money; if there is an issue it will send out a letter.  

[RELATED: IRS on the line looking for money? More likely a scammer]

For more information about the IRS phone scam, visit the following links:

www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/Don't-be-Fooled-Phone-Scams-Continue-to-Be-Serious-Threat-Nationwide

www.treasury.gov/tigta/press/press_tigta-2015-01_home.htm

www.treasury.gov/tigta/contact_report_scam.shtml

Copyright 2016 KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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