MERCED – Merced County is issuing an alert today regarding recent telephone scams where individuals falsely represent themselves as representatives from the Internal Revenue Service.
The callers may try to extort money from consumers through several methods, such as claiming someone owes money or is due money.
The IRS is aware of such scams and has reminded people that the IRS will never:
Call to demand immediate payment, nor call about taxes owed without first having mailed a bill.
Demand that someone pay taxes without providing an opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say is owed.
Require someone to use a specific payment method for taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have someone arrested for not paying.
If individuals suspect they are receiving a scam call, they can:
Report the call to the Tax Inspector General for Tax Administration through its website: https://www.treasury.gov/tigta/contact_report_scam.shtml or by phone: 1-800-366-4484.
Report the call to the Federal Trade Commission using the FTC Complaint Assistant: https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/#&panel1-1.
Register their phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry: https://www.donotcall.gov/. After a number has been filed with the National Registry for 31 days, a complaint can be filed if a call is received that violates the guidelines of the Registry.
If an individual thinks he or she might owe taxes, that person can call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 and IRS employees with help with any payment issue.
Residents should be aware that this is just one of many types of over-the-phone methods scammers use in an attempt to extort money. Law enforcement works to address these issues as they arise. Should you ever suspect that you’re being victimized by a scam, please contact your local law enforcement agency.
For more information regarding Merced County, please visit our website at www.co.merced.ca.us