JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — The Onslow County Sheriff’s Office is warning the public they are still receiving reports of people being scammed out of thousands of dollars due to something commonly referred to as the “IRS Scam.”
The scam has popped up a number of times over the past couple of years.
In this scam, a call will be received from a person identifying themselves as an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Agent or IRS Attorney.
The caller will tell the victim that they owe a large amount of money to the IRS and that if payment is not received immediately, the IRS will file criminal charges and have the taxpayer arrested.
The caller will then instruct the victim to either deposit money in a bank account that is provided by the scammer, or will have the victim get a gift card, prepaid debit card, money order or wire transfer in the amount stated, then send the gift card or other payment form to an address provided by the scammer.
Once the victim pays the first demand, the caller will call again and demand more money. This pattern will continue until the criminal gets all the money possible from the victim.
The Onslow County Sheriff’s Office wants to reinforce it is a scam and has cost the taxpayers of Onslow County untold thousands of dollars.
The Sheriff’s Office said the scammers are often in other counties, which makes it near impossible for them to recover any of the victim’s money or identify the criminal.
The Sheriff’s Office said the best action is to be aware of the scams and know that the IRS will not contact a taxpayer by telephone.
The IRS will generally make first contact by US Mail. The IRS will not request payment in the form of a prepaid debit card, a money order or a wire transfer. The IRS will also not provide a bank account number and request the taxpayer deposit money into an account.
If you receive a call from anyone representing themselves as being with the IRS, hang up and call the IRS at 800-829-1040. A real IRS employee will answer and will help you with any questions about your taxes. Additionally, a complaint on the scam can be filed by calling 800-366-4484 or by going to the Federal Trade Commission website at http://www.FTC.gov and complete the scam reporting form