IRS warns against threatening phone scam


MISSOULA, Mont. - The IRS warned the public about another phone scam Thursday. This time scammers are threatening arrest.

The IRS reports scammers are calling victims and demanding an immediate tax payment through a prepaid debit card. They are asking victims to verify personal information, saying they tried to contact the victim via mail but it was returned undeliverable. The IRS says scammers are threatening arrest if victims do not comply.

Part of the recording says, "if you don't call immediately or if we don't hear from your attorney either, then you will be sole (sic) responsible for all legal consequences."

The Missoula Police Department says they regularly get reports of IRS scams. They say even though tax season is over scams and schemes do not take summer vacation and can happen at any point of the year.

Police say never give out financial information, date of birth or your Social Security number over the phone and always ask critical questions. They say the IRS will never contact you via phone.

"The important thing is to be aware of your situation. If you don't have an outstanding tax bill and somebody's on the phone telling you (that) you do, that should be an immediate red flag," said Missoula Police Department Public Information Officer Travis Welsh. "Sometimes people will call and say they want to verify information, and you just (have) got to be aware of it and realize that nobody in a legitimate position with the IRS would ask you for that information. Chances are they would already have it."

Welsh says immediately start a document trail and report the incident to the police and IRS if you do get scammed.

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