Chief Domenic J. DiMella
27 Hamilton Street
Saugus, MA 01906
For Immediate Release
Thursday, Sept. 17, 2014
Contact: John Guilfoil
Saugus Police Warn Public About IRS Scam
SAUGUS – Police Chief Domenic DiMella and the International Revenue Service (IRS) today are warning community members about a recurring phone scam targeting taxpayers, especially recent immigrants.
Police alerted residents to an almost identical scam last year. Recently, the Saugus Police has received numerous complaints from residents of aggressive callers claiming that potential victims owe money to the IRS and demand they pay immediately through a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer.
“I want to make it very clear to the community that this is a scam and unfortunately our we are not strangers to it,” Chief DiMella said. “As a department, we are doing everything we can to catch those who are responsible and prevent other innocent victims from getting their money stolen. I also want to make it very clear that the police will never threaten to arrest, deport, or revoke anyone’s license due to unpaid taxes.”
According to police, these “agents” tell potential victims that if they do not comply, they will be arrested, deported, or have their business or driver’s license suspended. In nearly all cases, once the victim gives away a pre-paid debit card number or makes a wire transfer, the money is gone forever.
The Saugus Police Department strongly urges residents to NEVER purchase pre-paid debit cards to give to a caller, and to NEVER send a wire transfer to someone you do not know.
Other characteristics of this scam include:
- Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.
- Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security Number.
- Scammers spoof the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it’s the IRS calling.
- Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS emails to some victims to support their bogus calls.
- Victims hear background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call site.
- After threatening victims with jail time or driver’s license revocation, scammers hang up and others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or DMV, and the caller ID supports their claim.
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here’s what you should do:
- If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS employees at that line can help you with a payment issue – if there really is such an issue.
- If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes (for example, you’ve never received a bill or the caller made some bogus threats as described above), then call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1.800.366.4484.
- If you’ve been targeted by this scam, you should also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your complaint.