IRS phone scams return to East Hampton – What you can do

EAST HAMPTON — The East Hampton Police Department says they’ve received reports that the IRS phone scams are starting back up again.

Police say residents have been receiving phone messages from out-of-state area codes, telling them to call back and claiming they are the IRS. The recorded message sounds official and states that the victim owes back taxes.

According to the IRS, if there is an issue with your federal taxes, you’ll first receive a letter or notice in the mail from the IRS.

Do not fall for scam artists on the internet or over the phone.

Real IRS employees have badge numbers. Ask the caller for his or her badge number, and then call 1-800-829-1040 to confirm it.

Sometimes the caller may volunteer a fake badge number before you can even ask for one. Victims may be told they owe money to the IRS.

If the victim refuses to cooperate, police say they may be threatened with arrest, deportation, or suspension of a driver’s licence. In many cases, the caller may become aggressive and insulting.

Police say if you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here’s what you need to do:

  • If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. The IRS employees at that line can help you with a payment issue – if there really is such an issue.
  • If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes (for example, you’ve never received a bill or the caller made some bogus threats as described above), then call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1.800.366.4484.
  • If you’ve been targeted by this scam, you should also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your complaint.

More information on how to report phishing scams involving the IRS is available on the genuine IRS website.