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    Consumer Alert: Beware of Suspicious Callers Claiming to be with the IRS

    (Golden, CO – June 13, 2014) First Judicial District Attorney Pete Weir is warning consumers to beware of a scam involving telephone calls from someone claiming to be with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The caller tells the consumer that there is a problem with their tax account and that they need to call immediately. Consumers should not make that call. A returned call could result in a financial loss that cannot be recouped.

    The DA’s office has received numerous calls from Jefferson and Gilpin county residents who have received telephone calls and voicemails from individuals saying they are with the IRS and that there is problem with the consumer’s tax accont. The calls are generally robo-calls which sound very realistic. However, some consumers have received these calls, or voice mail messages, from live persons with heavy accents. The caller may use generic, American-sounding names, such as “Special Agent Mike Jones”, as they set the stage for this scam.

    The caller represents himself, or herself, as an investigator, or special agent, from the Crime Investigative Unit of the IRS. The call recipient is told that there is an urgent matter involving tax fraud which requires that they (the consumer) call a specific number immediately. The number consumers are told to call may appear to have a Washington, DC area code. Sophisticated scammers can use technology to alter the information that appears on caller ID (called spoofing) which can mislead consumers by making it appear that the call is originating from the IRS or the Washington, DC area.

    Should a taxpayer place the call, they will be asked for payment. Most often the scammer will request that the taxpayer wire money or obtain a pre-paid debit card and call them back. If money is wired or a card is purchased, and the information is provided to the scammer, the money gone and often there is nothing that law enforcement can do.

    The IRS will never attempt to notify taxpayers of a problem or issue regarding their tax account by telephone calls or email. Should consumers receive one of these calls we recommend they get more information before they act. They may:

    • Contact the District Attorney’s Office at 303-271-6931 with concerns;
    • Call the IRS directly. Call 303-446-1675 or 800-829-1040 to verify that taxes are current and up to date or call 800-366-4484 to alert the IRS of this scam if your taxes have been paid;
    • Forward any suspicious emails to phishing@irs.gov. Don’t open any attachments or click on any links in those emails; or
    • File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov/complaint.

    “Scammers may employ threats in their attempts to convince consumers that this is an urgent matter and that they must act immediately,” said Weir. “We encourage consumers not to react. We recommend asking questions, taking down the caller’s name and phone number, and then doing a little research. When in doubt, always call your local DA or law enforcement agency for more information.”

    Pam Russell
    DA Public Information

    June 13, 2014

    Last Updated: 6-13-2014
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