Beware Marion County. A sinister phone scam plagued area residents on Monday. The scam attempted to prey upon people by inspiring fear of the IRS.
County resident Eileen Sieger received one of the intimidating calls.
“I got a different scam call a couple weeks ago, but the wording on this one was even scarier,” Sieger said. “It started out with a robo-voice that said ‘You have been named with a lawsuit from the IRS.’”
Sieger saved the phone number and alerted friends about the scam.
“I didn’t listen to the end, but it’s the kind of call that can freak people out, especially the elderly,” she said. “You think, ‘Oh gosh, what happened that I don’t know about.’”
Another local, Sally Hannaford, hung up on the fake IRS robot voice, too.
“They (scam artists) must have been on a rampage yesterday morning,” Hannaford said Tuesday. “We had so many people call the bank (where she works) to ask about the call. I knew it was a scam but it sounds legit.”
Coordinator of the county’s Department on Aging Gayla Ratzlaff said some concerned citizens also informed her office that the scam threatened to sue them for back taxes.
Paring the “IRS” with “lawsuit” is no doubt a frightening combo.
However, Ratzlaff wished to remind county residents, “The IRS does not call individuals and they don’t threaten or harass individuals.”
According to the official IRS website, there are several scams that invoke the IRS to scare personal information or money out of people.
The IRS suggests a few simple courses of action if this happens:
- Those who know they owe taxes should call the IRS at (800) 829-1040. IRS workers can help with payment issues.
- Those who don’t owe taxes or have no reason to believe that they do should report the incident at (800) 366-4484 or at www.tigta.gov.
- Victims targeted by the scam also should contact the Federal Trade Commission and use its “FTC Complaint Assistant” at www.FTC.gov.