IRS phone scam: Boynton Beach police issue warning to public

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - Boynton Beach police are warning the public about a recent scam involving a person posing as an IRS worker.

The caller told a 68-year-old Boynton Beach woman she owed more than $5,000 in taxes and that if she didn't pay it, she would go to jail and have her house taken away.

She was told to go to the bank and withdraw the $5,000 in cash, go to CVS and buy 10 Money Pak cards valued at $500 each.

Police said the woman did as she was told and provided the scammer with the account numbers off all but one of the prepaid debit cards.

Police said the scammers have found a way to make it seem as if they are calling from an actual IRS toll-free number (1-800-829-1040).

Boynton Beach police remind the public that just as law enforcement agencies will never call you to ask for money, the IRS does not request credit card numbers over the phone nor will they ask for a prepaid debit card or wire transfer.

Some characteristics of this scam include: Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers; may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security Number; send bogus IRS emails to victims to support their calls.

According to the IRS, the agency does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here is what the agency suggests you 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. 

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