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Scam Alert: The IRS is not calling, don’t send money on gift cards

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The IRS is not calling, don’t send money on gift cards (Photo: KUTV){ }

(KUTV)- The Internal Revenue Service is not calling you.

It’s a scam.

But of course, scammers are still calling, claiming you owe money to the IRS. In some cases, the crooks threaten the cops are coming right now to pick you up unless you pay right away.

Kay Smith got the call, but she says she didn’t fall for it. “As soon as they said the cops will be picking you up, I thought this is nuts! The IRS would never use language like the cops are picking you up,” says Smith.

And Kay is right. But many Utahns still fall for the scam. In fact, the numbers have skyrocketed over the last 3 years, with $747,937 being fleeced from about 133 victims. That averages to $5,624 per person. That is compared to just $41,000 lost by Utahns in 2015.

How to tell it’s a scam:

  • The IRS will not call you. If you owe money, you will receive a letter in the mail with legitimate numbers for their offices in Washington, D.C.
  • The IRS will not threaten to throw you in jail.
  • The IRS will not make you pay a debt by gift card. They ask for checks, credit card, and offer payments through their website at irs.gov.
  • The IRS will not demand you pay right away. You can work out how to pay them back if you legitimately owe.

If you do receive these calls, you can report them here: https://www.treasury.gov/tigta/contact_report_scam.shtml

If you have been a victim of the scam and have sent money, you can report it to the FBI here: https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx