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Don't fall victim to an IRS scam

Montgomery County residents may be targeted by a scammer pretending to represent the Internal Revenue Service, or IRS.

One alleged victim reports "someone called me aggresively trying to extort money from me saying I had defrauded the IRS over the past 3 years and I owed them $3,667."

To squeeze the victim instantly while still on the phone line, the scammer claims that they have already dispatched police and that they are on the way to apprehend. The scam victim is told they could spend 90 days in jail.

IRS scams are particularly dangerous because of the personal information typically involved in tax records (Social Security Numbers, home address, employment history and earnings/income level). The appearance of an authoritative government agency on the phone may also intimidate the victim into giving more information than one might give to a bank or private business.

Protect yourself from telephone scams

Always use these tips when dealing with strangers that call you.

  • Do not initiate wire transfers or electronic checks.
  • Do not share passwords.
  • Do not share bank account or credit/debit card numbers.
  • Do not share Social Security Numbers (SSN).
  • Do not share birthdays or family history.
  • Do not confirm or deny information that the caller may already have.
  • Do not trust the number that appears on caller ID.

In the State of Ohio, it is legal to record your own telephone conversations without notifying the other person on the line. If you are a repeated target of a telephone scam, a telephone recording device may be used to gather evidence against the scammer. Scammers can be subject to both criminal and civil legal action, if you have the evidence to stop them.