Police: Phone scammers pretend to be IRS, claim people owe tax money

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Police are warning residents of phone scammers who pretend to be with the IRS to trick people into sharing private information.

The scammers alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling and then demand money or say people have a refund check, according to a statement from the Palos Park Police Department. The callers can sound convincing and use fake names and IRS identification badge numbers to trick people.

If people do not answer the phone, the scammers often leave an "urgent" callback request, police said.

Police remind residents that the IRS will never:

Call about taxes that are owed without having first mailed a bill;
Demand that someone pay taxes without giving the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed;
Require people to use a specific payment method for taxes;

Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone; or
Threaten to bring in law enforcement groups to have someone arrested for not paying.

Anyone who receives a call from someone claiming to be the IRS and asking for money should call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 or the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484.

Source: Sun-Times Media Wire - Copyright Chicago Sun-Times 2017.)

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