Chester resident speaks out after incident with IRS scammer - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Chester resident speaks out after incident with IRS scammer

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(MGN photo) (MGN photo)
EAST HAMPTON, CT (WFSB) -

A phone scam involving fake calls from people claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service continues to make the rounds around the state.

East Hampton police reported that they received reports of an automated phone system leaving messages for residents to call a phone number with an out-of-state area code.

The messages claim to be from the IRS and sounds official.

It said the person owes back taxes and that there is an issue with the person's federal taxes. Threats of arrest, insults and other aggressive behavior can also be made.

Channel 3's Kevin Hogan spoke with residents that were targeted by the scam.

Kristina Seifert, of Chester, said she wasn't fooled. She received an unsolicited phone call from Washington State.

The caller said he was from the IRS and if she didn't pay them, she'd be arrest. 

The person, who claimed to be an agent named Mike Smith, even provided a badge and case number.

"My gut immediately knew it was a scam," said Seifert.

Instead of hanging up, Seifert said she played along with the scam.

"At that point I asked how much money it was and where I could send the money and he said that was no longer an option and he hung up," said Seifert.

Channel 3's Kevin Hogan called the Washington number.

The scammer again claimed to be an IRS agent named Mike Smith. He quickly became defensive.

"I'm not here to prove myself.  Hang up the phone and be ready for the consequences," said the scammer.

An app named Hiya was created to help people protect themselves.

Jan Volzke, who developed the app, said the app is designed to identify scammers.

"It will specifically say this a known IRS scammer," said Volzke.

According to the IRS itself, people will first receive a letter or notice in the mail. Real IRS employees also have badge numbers that can be verified through the phone number 1-800-829-1040.

Police warned people not to fall for the scams.

They offered the following advice if a phone call is received:

  • Call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 if taxes are owed.
  • If someone doesn't think taxes are owed but wants to check, call the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484.
  • If someone believes they are targeted by scammers, contact the Federal Trade Commission at FTC.gov and add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comment.

Eyewitness News has done several reports on this scam before. Here's one of them.

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