Scott A. Dumas, Police Chief
477 Haverhill Street
Rowley, MA 01969
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 27, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Rowley Police Department Warn Residents of Most Recent IRS Scam
ROWLEY — After receiving several reports of the same IRS scam affecting residents, Chief Scott A. Dumas and the Rowley Police Department would like to advise the community to be careful with their financial information.
As part of the scam, callers, masked as IRS “agents” tell potential victims that while completing a tax audit, they found that the person has underpaid and owes money to the IRS. Some callers threaten to file lawsuits or tell residents that a lawsuit had already been filed against them. They state the only way to rectify the situation is to immediately send a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer to a specified address.
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.
Since 2013, more than 5,000 victims have lost over $26.5 million as a result of the scam, according to the IRS.
“This particular scam is rampant throughout our community right now,” Chief Dumas said. “We have received several calls today alone, and are advising all residents to use caution when speaking with unknown parties on the phone.”
To avoid becoming a victim of an IRS scam, residents are encouraged to remember the following:
- The IRS first contacts people by mail — not by phone — about unpaid taxes.
- The IRS will not ask for payment using a pre-paid debit card, a money order or wire a transfer.
- The IRS also will not ask for a credit card number over the phone.
- The IRS never requests personal or financial information by email, text, or social media.
If you receive a call from an IRS scammer, hang up. Do not engage with these callers.
If you get a call from someone claiming to be with the IRS asking for a payment and if you think you owe money, hang up and call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you with your payment questions.
The IRS also advises residents to forward scam emails to email@example.com, and don’t open any attachments or click on any links in those emails.
If you are ever unsure about a potential scam, contact the RowleyPolice Department at 978-948-7644.