On Tuesday, March 4, 2014, two (2) Roselle Park residents were contacted via the telephone by an unknown male stating that he was from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The caller advised the victim that a recent audit showed that he owed the IRS more than $2,500. The caller referenced his badge number and stated he had an arrest warrant for the victim. He demanded that the tax debt be paid immediately to avoid being arrested.
The caller then directed the victim to go to a local Rite Aid store where he was directed to purchase a pre-paid gift card. Once this was done, he asked for the PIN on the card to retrieve the money. In both cases the caller remained on the phone the entire time without hanging up and was said to have Hindustani-type accent. A similar incident occurred in January of 2014.
Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact the Roselle Park Police Department (RPPD) at (908) 245-2300.
Below is more information on this IRS phone scam warning:
IRS Warns of Phone Scam
The IRS is warning the public about a phone scam that targets people across the nation, including recent immigrants. Callers claiming to be from the IRS tell intended victims they owe taxes and must pay using a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer. The scammers threaten those who refuse to pay with arrest, deportation or loss of a business or driver’s license.
The callers who commit this fraud often:
- Use common names and fake IRS badge numbers.
- Know the last four digits of the victim’s Social Security number.
- Make the intended victim’s caller ID appear as if the IRS is calling.
- Send bogus IRS emails to support their scam.
- Call a second time claiming to be the police or DMV, and caller ID again supports their claim.
The truth is the IRS usually first contacts people by mail – not by phone – about unpaid taxes and the IRS will never ask for payment using a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer. The agency also will not ask for a credit card number over the phone.
If you get a call from someone claiming to be with the IRS asking for a payment, here’s what to do:
- If you owe federal taxes, or think you might owe taxes, hang up and call the IRS at (800) 829-1040. IRS workers can help you with your payment questions.
- If you don’t owe taxes, call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at (800) 366-4484.
- You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov (link). Add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments in your complaint.
Be alert for phone and email scams that use the IRS name. The IRS will never request personal or financial information by email, texting, or any social media. You should forward scam emails to phishing[at]irs.gov. Do not open any attachments or click on any links in those emails.
Read more about tax scams on the genuine IRS website at irs.gov (link).