Alabaster police warn of IRS phone scam

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – The Alabaster Police Department is warning area residents to be wary of fraudulent phone calls claiming to be from an Internal Revenue Service agent threatening arrest or a lawsuit.

Police officers said they recently received a call from a local resident who reported receiving an IRS automated message.

“In the message, the resident is advised that a warrant his being sworn out against her due to an IRS issue along with a lawsuit against her for fraud,” read a post on the APD Facebook page. “The resident is provided with a 1-877- telephone number to call to clear up the matter.”

The automated message is not a legitimate IRS call, and APD is encouraging area residents to warn their family members and friends so they don’t fall victim to the fraud.

According to the IRS, callers who commit the fraud often use an automated “robocall” machine, use common names and fake IRS badge numbers, may know the last four digits of the victim’s Social Security number, make caller ID information appear as if the call is from the IRS, may send bogus IRS emails to support the scam and may call a second or third time claiming to be the police department or department of motor vehicles.

The APD are encouraging anyone who receives one of the fraudulent calls to do the following:

-If you owe Federal taxes, or think you might owe taxes, hang up and call the IRS tax center at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you with your payment questions.

-If you do not owe taxes, fill out the “IRS Impersonation scam” form on the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration website, Tigta.gov, or call TIGTA at 800-366-4484. You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at FTC.gov. Add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments in your complaint.

“The IRS will never request personal or financial information by e-mail, text, or any social media,” read the APD Facebook page. “You should forward scam e-mails to phishing@irs.gov. Do not open any attachments or click on any links in those e-mails.”