IRS Scam

The Bremerton Police Department is warning residents about telephone scam artists calling and pretending to be with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or the "Department of Legal Affairs for the U.S. Treasury."

What to Expect
These callers may demand money, threaten you with an arrest, or they may say you have a refund due to trick you into sharing private information. These con artists can sound convincing when they call. They can alter your caller ID to make it look like the IRS or another agency is calling, and will use fake "agent" or "officer" names and bogus identification badge numbers. If you don't answer, they often leave an "urgent" callback request.

The IRS reminds people that they can know pretty easily when a supposed IRS caller is a fake. Here are 5 things the scammers often do but the IRS will not do. Any 1 of these 5 things is a tell-tale sign of a scam. The IRS will never:
  • Call you about taxes you owe without first mailing you an official notice
  • 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
  • Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying
What to Do if Contacted
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, here's what you should do:
  • If you know you owe taxes or think you might owe, call the IRS at 800-829-1040. The IRS workers can help you with a payment issue.
  • If you know you don't owe taxes or have no reason to believe that you do, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484.
  • If you've been targeted by this scam, also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their "FTC Complaint Assistant". Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments of your complaint.
Things to Remember
Remember, too, the IRS does not use unsolicited email, text messages or any social media to discuss your personal tax issue.