IRS Scam Calls Continue to Plague Lee County

As the IRS tax deadline quickly approaches, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office fraud line continues to receive dozens of calls from concerned residents reporting suspicious phone calls from scammers claiming to be from the IRS. These con-artists are using fake names, fraudulent phone numbers, and bogus badge information to convince taxpayers they need to immediately pay up on delinquent IRS accounts, or face arrest. Some callers also report receiving a computer generated voice message requesting they immediately return the call to the Internal Revenue Service in order to take care of an urgent matter.  

 This is an aggressive and sophisticated scam designed to trick victims through fear and deceitful tactics. The Sheriff’s Office reminds you that the IRS will NEVER:

  1. Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
  2. Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  3. Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card or wire transfer.
  4. Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  5. Threaten to bring local police or other law enforcement agencies to have you arrested for not paying.

If you think you are the target of an IRS impersonation scam, you should:

  1. Hang up and call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you with your payment questions.
  2. File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission www.ftc.gov.
  3. Call the Sheriff’s Office fraud line at 239-258-3292.