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Scammers pose as money-seeking IRS agents, NY officials warn

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NASSAU COUNTY (PIX11) – Scammers are still at it, preying on Americans’ fear of owing the IRS and pretending to be tax collectors seeking their due.

That’s the warning issued Friday by the Nassau County Executive’s Office, which echoed a similar alert posted by the IRS earlier this year.

“These scams cost honest citizens thousands of unrecoverable dollars,” the executive’s office warned.

Claiming to be federal employees, the scammers call their targets and threaten that they could be arrested or foreclosed upon if they don’t pay up.

To be clear, the IRS does not ask for credit card numbers over the phone, nor does the agency request a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer for any payments due.

The scammers can usually recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security number, making them appear legitimate.

Other ways the scammers dupe their victims include:

  • Using fake names – unusually common names and surnames – and IRS badge numbers
  • Spoof the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it’s the IRS calling
  •  Send bogus IRS emails to some victims to support their bogus calls
  • Using background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call site
  • After threatening victims with jail time or driver’s license revocation, scammers hang up and others soon call back pretending to be from the local police department or DMV, and the caller ID supports their claim

It’s similar to a money-grabbing rouse the IRS warned the public about in August, in which scammers call from a cloned number with a Washington, D.C. area code demanding the target settle unpaid bills.

In that case, the IRS said it had received some 90,000 complaints in connection with the scam and about 1,000 victims lost a cumulative $5 million from the fraud.

Anyone who believes they may have been a victim of this scam is urged to call 911 immediately.

Tips that could lead to the arrest of scammers should be directed to Nassau County Crime Stoppers’ anonymous hotline at 1-800-244-TIPS (8477).

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