RICHMOND, Va. -- A Richmond woman wants to warn families after receiving a call from a person impersonating an IRS agent and demanding money.
Wanda Stallings said she and her 80-year-old mother received similar phone calls Saturday morning from someone with a Canadian area code demanding payment of owed taxes.
“They were from the Internal Revenue Service and she owed an astronomical amount of money,” Stallings said. “It was over $10,000.”
The caller then demands immediate payment or threatens being sued by the IRS. But neither Stallings nor her mother owe any money to the IRS.
IRS officials said since 2013, 5,000 people were victims of these scammers and paid out over $26.5 million. The callers often target the vulnerable and elderly.
“Scary is not the word. It`s frightening. It`s a horror movie in existence that these people are living in,” Stallings warns after not falling for the scammer’s tricks.
- The IRS will not call about taxes you owe without first mailing you a bill.
- The IRS will not demand that you pay taxes without allowing you to question or appeal the amount you owe.
- The IRS will not require that you pay your taxes a certain way, such as with a prepaid debit card.
- The IRS will not ask for your credit or debit card numbers over the phone. The IRS will not threaten to bring in police or other agencies to arrest you for nonpayment.
- The IRS will not leave a message threatening to sue you if you don’t pay right away. If you have any question about your tax status, you can contact the IRS at 800-829-1040.
If you receive one of these calls, report it to the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov and to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at www.treasury.gov/tigta/contact_report_scam.shtml. If you are a victim of a scam or tax-related identity theft, contact the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office at 804-365-6140.