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IRS scam makes rounds of Kooskia says Johnson

— A phone call that you owe back taxes to the federal government? That you had better respond or the sheriff’s office will be serving you a warrant?

“Hopefully, everybody knows the IRS doesn’t work that way,” said Robert Johnson.

In late September, the Kooskia resident said he and several of his neighbors have been getting the IRS scam calls for about a couple of weeks, the story being the caller is informed he or she has a lawsuit against them for owed taxes, with the coming pitch for a money wire to settle the matter. The last scam call he received stood out, Johnson said, as the caller had an accent obviously from India but represented himself with a standard western name: “Mike Davis.”

Besides informing the Idaho County Sheriff’s Office, Johnson wanted to get the word out to remind people these scams are out there and not to be pressured into giving out information or money.

“Normally I get ones [scam calls] to fix your computer, two to three a week at times,” he said. In this scam, the potential victim is advised they have a home computer problem that has alerted in the Microsoft system, and the scammer attempts to get the resident to turn over remote control to the machine in order to steal personal information. These can be convincing, with caller ID even listing the person as “Microsoft Tech Department,” Johnson said.

Standard law enforcement advice in such situations is to hang up on the caller, and if a person has further concerns in the matter to look up phone numbers themselves – don’t trust information given to you by these callers -- and contact the agencies directly.


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