Maui News

Maui Police Warn of IRS-Impersonation Telephone Scam

November 6, 2015, 3:14 PM HST
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IRS Impersonators phone scam. Graphic by Maui Now.

IRS Impersonators phone scam. Graphic by Maui Now.

Maui police are warning the public of an “aggressive and sophisticated phone scam” targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants.

According to Maui police, the scam has been making its rounds throughout the country.

Police say callers reportedly claim to be employees of the IRS, but are not.

According to police, these con-artists can sound convincing, using fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. Police say they may know a lot about their targets, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling.

Victims are reportedly  told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting.

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Victims may also be told they have a refund due to try to trick them into sharing private information.

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If the phone isn’t answered, the scammers often leave an “urgent” callback request.

Police say the IRS will never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill;
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe;
  • Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card;
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone; or
  • Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
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