WHAM13 - Search Results
A warning from the IRS
Ontario, N.Y. -- There's a warning from the IRS.
The agency has been flooded with calls from taxpayers about a phone scam demanding people pay up.
The agency has received so many calls, prompting it to post a message on its website Tuesday.
The agency said it's received 90,000 phone calls from people about the scam.
There have been 1,100 victims, losing an estimated $5 million from the bogus operation.
A Wayne County woman, Mary Sfikas, received one of those calls.
She said it left her shaking.
"I was really scared," she said. "It takes a lot to shake me up. He was vehement; he was throwing things at me. He sure as heck sounded official until I started coming back at him."
The so-called agent said Sfikas and her husband had been notified twice by mail about a discrepancy in their taxes dating between 2000 and 2014 and it was time to pay up.
"He says we've given you two chances by mail to make a settlement," Sfikas said. "He says 'You need to settle with us now or you're facing a two-year jail term and $20,000 fine.'"
When she pressed for more answers, she was told they had a warrant for her arrest with officers ready to come to the door.
She was also told if she hung up the phone, the agreement would be null and void.
But Sfikas asked more questions.
"So I said to him, 'How do I know who you are? If you're the IRS, tell me my social security number,'" Sfikas said.
It was a question the caller couldn't answer.
Sfikas hung up and called police.
Police told her these scams are all too familiar.
The IRS said that's not how it operates.
A scam thwarted, thanks to her persistence.
"Don't take it from anyone that they are who they are, unfortunately that's what we have to live with today," Sfikas said. "People aren't just who they say they are."
Often times, these scammers will use a fake name and badge and spoof the IRS phone number.
The agency says it will never ask for payment information over the phone.
Click here for the IRS site. http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Repeats-Warning-about-Phone-Scams