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Beware of scammers who call and know a lot of about you

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Posted at 12:01 PM, Jan 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-18 12:01:26-05

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. — The Hanover County Sheriff’s Office is warning the public about a “sophisticated phone scam” that targets taxpayers, including recent immigrants.

“Callers claim to be IRS employees, using fake names and bogus identification badge numbers. They may know a lot about their targets, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling,” Hanover County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Jim Cooper said. “Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a gift card or wire transfer. Victims may be threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting. Victims may be told they have a refund due to try to trick them into sharing private information. If the phone isn’t answered the scammers often leave an ‘urgent’ callback request.”

If you get a scammer call, do not provide them personal information.

“Remember if you have caller ID and you don’t know the number displayed, do not answer the phone. Let the call go to your voicemail/answering machine and you will decrease your chances of becoming a victim,” Cooper said. “If you or a loved one have received one of these calls, and are at a monetary loss, please contact the Sheriff’s Office immediately by calling (804) 365-6140.”

You can also report IRS scam calls to the Federal Trade Commission.