Hamilton County sheriff warns about IRS phone scam

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NOBLESVILLE (October 18, 2013) – Scammers are targeting people in Hamilton County, running a scheme claiming they’re from the IRS.

Sheriff Mark Bowen said a Fishers resident brought the scam to his attention after being contacted by different people who claimed to be from the IRS. The caller said the man hadn’t correctly filed his taxes for the last ten years and needed to pay a penalty.

The caller told the man he’d be arrested if he didn’t pay up and instructed him to get a “tax voucher” to send to the IRS. A different person then called, claiming to be from the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department and telling the man an arrest warrant would be issued if he didn’t comply.

Bowen said the sheriff’s office doesn’t issue warrants for tax issues with the IRS and doesn’t threaten to arrest people in tax cases. Someone who calls asking for a wire transfer or prepaid Visa card transaction is trying to steal your money.

The sheriff’s office contacted the IRS, which said taxpayers are always notified by mail first about outstanding tax problems. It’s unlikely that anyone with an outstanding tax debt wouldn’t know about it before receiving a call. The IRS will never ask for payment to be made by a specific method and IRS agents are prohibited from engaging in hateful or abusive behavior toward taxpayers.

Any such behavior should be reported immediately to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. Anyone contacted by the IRS should ask for the IRS agent’s ID number or request a supervisor.

If there is any question about a taxpayer’s federal tax situation or if a taxpayer wants to know if they have an outstanding federal tax debt, they can call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.