Scam artists strike again, change tactics

TORRINGTON – Area residents reported numerous IRS scam calls to the Torrington Police Department late last week, including three within 15 minutes Friday afternoon.
According to Goshen County Sheriff’s Investigator Rick Scott, the latest rash of calls did have a few new twists.
“This time, their method of payment was unusual,” Scott said Monday morning. “They were asking for iTunes cards. They haven’t done that before. Usually, it is a request for payment using debit or credit card numbers.”
Another change was in the system used to make the calls. Scott said they were made through the Internet, using a program that makes it impossible to tell who is calling. If victims try to call the number provided by the scammer, they receive a busy signal.
Last week’s calls were also different in that IRS scams are usually done closer to tax season.
Scott reminds residents that IRS representatives will always identify themselves. In the past, the IRS never made personal, outside calls. However, that has also changed. The IRS now hires outside collectors, who do identify themselves, and they will never ask for immediate payment, or payment directly to them. The IRS always requests payment directly to the United States Treasury through the Internal Revenue Service .
Last week’s callers demanded immediate payment through iTunes cards or other illegitimate means, did not offer an opportunity to appeal the demand, threatened arrest by the sheriff’s department, and offered payment opportunities using your credit or debit card numbers.
“The IRS will never do that,” Scott emphasized.
Scott also noted that scammers now use local area codes or prefixes. “That’s become popular to get people to answer the phone,” he explained.
For more information, call the Treasury Department Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484.

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