The Redding Police Department would like to inform citizens of scams during this year’s tax season.
Many Shasta County citizens are receiving phone calls from scam artists claiming to be Internal Revenue Service Agents. The impersonator often has personal information about the residents of the household that is obtained from online searches and hacking. Ultimately, the “IRS Agent” will demand that the citizen wire money for back taxes owed for a mistake on a prior tax filing. They often threaten to arrest the citizen if they do not comply.
Most of these scam artists are calling from a foreign country. They often have thick accents. Most of the time caller ID indicates they are calling from an unfamiliar area code, but some of the suspects have the technical capability to make it appear they are calling from the 530 area code.
A variation of this scam involves the caller identifying themselves as a police officer. They name a real person in the victim’s family and say they were arrested. The impersonator then asks for money to be sent for “bail” by wire transfer.
It is important to remember that no legitimate law enforcement agent in the United States will attempt to collect money. Even when the court system collects money for fines and tax money owed, they do not ask for wire transfers. The safest way to handle bail money is through a licensed bail bondsman.
The IRS has a method for reporting this type of scam. Go to www.TIGTA.gov and select “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” for further direction.
– Press Release