As of Wednesday, January 14, 2015
COTTONWOOD Watch out for a returning official agency impersonation scam.
Cottonwood Police Chief Terry Cochran reported he received four calls last week from residents contacted by phone by a person representing the IRS.
Fraud costs billions in U.S.
On individual transactions alone, the Federal Trade Commission estimates the total dollar loss to fraud at approximately $2.92 billion per year in the United States.
The caller states the IRS will be filing a lawsuit unless the victim sends in a check for a supposed unpaid tax claim.
“I have attempted to call the number back and got a simple computer message that their inbox is full,” Cochran said, “which is an indication this may have come from a cell phone.”
Cochran said in one report, there have been more than 90,000 complaints and $5 million lost due to fraud by August 2014.
The IRS requests persons who think they may have received a fraud call to contact the agency at 1-800-366-4484.
Whether by phone or e-mail, local law enforcement advises caution: Don’t provide personal information (Social Security, bank/credit card numbers, etc.) over the phone to callers or e-mail requests; and if there is a question, find the contact information to the agency/entity in question and inquire yourself.