The Department of Consumer Protection and Attorney General's Office has issued a second warning to Connecticut residents about a scam in which a caller pretends to be an Internal Revenue Service official seeking tax payments.
“Consumers can rest easy knowing that while these calls are an annoyance, there is no truth to them. It’s important to share this message with all members of your household who may answer the phone to one of these troubling or threatening calls,” Consumer Protection Commissioner William M. Rubenstein said Friday. “Government agencies – including the FBI and the IRS – do not call people on the phone or send emails to demand money or threaten arrest."
In the bogus calls, the scammer impersonates an IRS official and tells the taxpayer they owe money to the IRS and face being arrested if they don't pay their debt.
“Recently we’ve been told that in some cases, the callers have identifying information about their potential victim, such as the last four digits of a Social Security number, or part of a bank account number, but don’t let this convince you the call is real,” Rubenstein said. “Identity thieves gather partial information and try to use it to their advantage. Even if their information is convincing, do not give in to any request for immediate payment.”
State officials sent out a warning about the scam in April and the IRS and police warned residents of a similar scam in March that they believed had a connection to a swatting call in Watertown about a fake home invasion.
“This is a pervasive scam that has been described as particularly aggressive," Attorney General George Jepsen said. “No matter what the caller may threaten or say, never send them money. The IRS will always send taxpayers a written notification of any tax due through the U.S. mail, not through an unsolicited phone call. If you or a family member get this call, hang up, and then report it to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration."
The IRS scam has been happening nationwide, so the IRS created a website where people can report the scam calls.
The IRS advises people who receive the scam calls to call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 to inquire about any outstanding tax payments. If you don't owe any taxes, you can report the call to the Treasure Inspector General for Tax Administration or file a consumer complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov.
You can contact the Attorney General's Consumer Assistance Unit if you have any questions at 860-808-5420 or the Department of Consumer Protection at 1-800-842-2649.