West Hartford residents, as well as residents in other towns, have been reporting a high volume of calls from scammers.
Connecticut officials warn residents to stay on alert for telephone callers who pose as an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents and attempt to get an immediate tax payment, Department of Revenue Services Commissioner Kevin B. Sullivan, Attorney General George Jepsen, and Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull said Friday.
Complaints from residents about the scam phone calls have persisted over the past few years. The scammers tell potential victims that they owe the IRS money and they face arrest from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or from local police if they do not pay.
Said DRS Commissioner Sullivan, “Beware of fake phone calls. If you get a call from an aggressive, belligerent, or insistent person who says you will be sued or jailed if you don’t make an immediate payment: suspect fraud. Generally, the IRS and CT DRS send taxpayers billing notices through the mail before ever calling. If you need to make sure a call is legitimate, hang up and call the number of the agency’s official website.”
“Many Connecticut residents continue to receive the IRS scam calls,” said Attorney General Jepsen. “My office sees approximately 500 complaints a month regarding this scam during tax season, but the calls persist year-round. It is important to remind residents to be on guard and to never provide payment or personal information to these scammers.”
“IRS scam calls are among the most common scams,” said Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull, “If someone calls you from the IRS, and you’re not expecting contact, hang up the phone. If you get a message – don’t call back. Most importantly – spread the word. Make sure your friends and neighbors know this is a scam so they don’t lose their hard earned money.”
The IRS advises to do the following if you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS:
- If you know you owe taxes, or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. The IRS can help you with a payment issue, if there really is an issue.
- If you know you don’t owe taxes, or have no reason to think that you owe taxes, then report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) by filling out the “IRS Impersonation scam” form on TIGTA’s website, www.tigta.gov, or by calling 1-800-366-4484.
- If you’ve been targeted by this scam, you can also file a consumer complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov, and add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your complaint.
The CT DRS and the IRS do not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media to request personal and financial information such as PINs, passwords, credit card, banking or other financial account information. Fraudulent emails purporting to be from the IRS should be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Consumers with questions can contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Assistance Unit at 860-808-5420, the Department of Consumer Protection at 800-842-2649 or the Department of Revenue Services at 860-297-5962.