BBB sends out warning over IRS phone scam

(WSYX/WTTE)

The Better Business Bureau is sending out a major warning about a growing phone scam: crooks calling people up, claiming to be the IRS. The crooks are asking for big bucks and claim if you don't pay up, you're heading to jail.

The scam isn't necessarily a new one, however crooks are getting a bit more advanced. Danielle Enoch told ABC 6 that she knows that first hand.

"I've actually received letters from the IRS in the past, so I didn't understand that phone call. They're using the IRS to make it sound official," said Enoch.

Enoch told ABC 6 that she was surprised when she got the call recently. The recording claimed to be the IRS, threatening cops would be on the way if she didn't cough up cash.

"First of all, I'm not a criminal so when they were telling me that the local police was gone come get me, it frightened me," Enoch told ABC 6.

ABC 6 called the number with a Rochester, New York area code. The number did not direct us to the IRS.

This con game in particular is growing in scope. In July, a story made national headlines about 21 people charged in a round of indictments in India after the Justice Department broke up an international fraud operation. Invsetigators said there were more than 15,000 victims in the United States, with losses totalling in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Kip Morse with the Better Business Bureau told AB C6 that here locally, a number of victims have been hit.

"The threatening calls, text messages, some people have reported they've gotten ten calls in a row," said Morse.

There are a few important things to remember:

The IRS won't call demanding an immediate payment
They won't demand you pay without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount you owe
They won't require a specific payment method, like a pre-paid debit card
They will never ask for credit card info over the phone
Most importantly, they will not threaten to have you arrested

Thankfully, Enoch said that she did not fall for the scam. She has a word of warning for others who may get one of these calls.

"I would say do not reply, do not answer back and do not call back and then report it to the local authorities," said Enoch.

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