After receiving more than 50 calls today from consumers reporting that they had been contacted by the IRS, Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin is reminding consumers that it is a scam, and he is providing tips to help people avoid falling victim to what has become one of the most persistent scams ever to hit Rhode Island.
If you get a call from someone who claims to be with the IRS asking you to pay back taxes, here’s what you should do:
The scammers are known to threaten arrest, driver’s license suspension, a lawsuit, or even deportation if payment for back taxes allegedly owed is not made immediately. The callers demand that payment be made in the form of a pre-paid debit card, wire transfer, credit card, or authorized bank account withdrawal. Several consumers have reported the scammers will get rude, aggressive and even use vulgar language in hopes of scaring the consumer into paying.
“No matter if the area code is 509, 206 or even 401, the number one give away that the call is a scam is that the IRS won’t call out of the blue to ask for payment, won’t demand a specific form of payment, and won’t leave a message threatening to sue you if you don’t pay right away,” said Attorney General Kilmartin. “We have seen these scammers escalate their aggressive behavior, which is very concerning as some folks, especially seniors, may fall victim to this type of approach. It is important that those with senior parents, relatives or neighbors share with them how this scam works and what to do if they receive a phone call from these scammers.”