Syringa man warns of IRS scam

— Is someone from the IRS threatening you over the phone with legal action over supposed owed back taxes? That’s a scam, and a Syringa man wants the word out to protect people from getting taken.

“They called me twice this week,” said Bob Schwartz, a recorded message from a 206 area code, saying legal action was pending against him from the IRS over a tax matter.

Schwartz recognized this as a scam. But he’s concerned as he’s received other phone scam attempts from live callers who are very aggressive and could easily scare vulnerable individuals, such as the elderly, to give up personal financial information such as bank account and Social Security numbers.

“Some people are bullied into it,” he said. “They should just hang up. You’re not required to respond to them.”

In reality, IRS first contacts are made by mail about unpaid taxes and not over the phone. The agency will not ask people to pay with prepaid debit cards or wire transfers.

Those who receive a scam attempt are asked to report it to the Federal Trade Commission (www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov) or at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).

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