Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 2020-11-20 10:22:55 –
Wagoner County, Oklahoma (KFOR) – With Black Friday imminent, many shoppers may be asking for a gift card to finish their holiday shopping.
Wagoner County Sheriff Chris Elliott says fraudsters often demand gift cards as an easy way to steal money from unprotected victims.
Fraudsters often target taxpayers to pay fake taxes with gift cards. Sheriff Elliott says gift cards are for gifts, not for tax payments.
Here’s how this scam usually happens:
• The most common way fraudsters request gift cards is by government spoofing fraudulent calls. However, we may also request gift cards by sending text messages, emails, or social media.
• A scammer disguised as an IRS agent calls the taxpayer or leaves a callback number in the voicemail notifying the taxpayer that it is related to some criminal activity. For example, fraudsters tell taxpayers that their ID has been stolen and used to open a fake bank account.
• Fraudsters threaten or harass taxpayers by telling them that they need to pay a fictitious tax penalty.
• Fraudsters instruct taxpayers to buy gift cards from various stores.
• When a taxpayer purchases a gift card, the fraudster asks the taxpayer to provide a gift card number and PIN.
This is how taxpayers know if it really is an IRS call. IRS never:
• Make a call to request immediate payment using a specific payment method, such as a gift card, prepaid debit card, or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS first mails an invoice to the taxpayer.
• Request that taxpayers pay taxes without the opportunity to ask or appeal about the amount they are borrowing. All taxpayers need to know their rights.
• Bring local police, immigration officers, or other law enforcement agencies and threaten to arrest taxpayers for failing to pay.
• Threaten to revoke a taxpayer’s driver’s license, business permit, or immigration status.
Taxpayers who believe they have been targeted by fraudsters should do the following:
• Contact a financial inspector at the tax authority to report a phone fraud. Use their IRS spoofing scam reporting web page. You can also call 800-366-4484.
• Report phone fraud to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the FTC Complaint Assistant in FTC.gov. I need to add “IRS Phone Scam” to my notes.
• Report threatening or harassing calls to firstname.lastname@example.org that claim to be from the IRS. Include “IRS Phone Scam” in the subject line.
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