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South Boston police issue new warnings of IRS scams / November 30, 2017
Scammers posing as IRS agents continue to prey on local residents, and the South Boston Police Department is once again warning the community to be on guard against the fraudulent schemes.

The scammers use several methods to defraud people, said South Boston Police Detective C. L. Carswell, typically by threatening to call in local law enforcement to make arrests for non-payment of taxes. This is not how the police department or the IRS operates, noted Carswell.

The Internal Revenue Service does not “initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. In addition, the IRS does not threaten taxpayers with lawsuits, imprisonment or other enforcement action,” according to the agency.

Carswell explained that scammers demand payment without ever giving their targets the opportunity to question or appeal the amount of taxes that supposedly are owed. The culprits also usually ask for credit or debit card numbers over the telephone, which again is something the IRS does not do.

In some cases, demands have been made for immediate payment using unorthodox methods such as prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer.

If you do owe back taxes, Carswell pointed out, the IRS will first mail you a notice, with a phone number for you to call the agency to question the sum or to arrange for payment.

Carswell urged residents to be wary of calls that are being made by the scammers, and advised that if anyone has a question about taxes, they should contact their local IRS office for more information.

The IRS website has informational warnings about scammers and how to report them if people find themselves targeted by fraudsters.

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