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IRS Phone Scam Incidents on the Rise

The Park Ridge Police Department has recently received numerous reports that scammers, posing as IRS agents, are contacting people via the telephone, claiming that they owe taxes.  These individuals threaten arrest, deportation, revocation of driver’s licenses and/or closing of businesses.  This is done by falsifying caller ID information to appear as if the IRS is actually calling. The individuals often make follow-up calls claiming to be the Secretary of State or the local police agency.  Some of the calls sound very legitimate, even using “robocalls” or automated voice messages.  Regardless of the variation, the scams end the same way: a demand for money loaded on a prepaid debit card, money sent through a wire transfer, or money paid by a credit card number provided over the phone.

It is important to know that the IRS never asks people to pay with prepaid debit cards or wire transfers, and does not ask for credit card numbers over the phone.  When the IRS contacts people about unpaid taxes, they do so by postal mail, not by phone. 

Should you receive a call or email similar to those described above, promptly report it to your local police department.  Along with reporting it to your local police, report the scam to the following agencies:

  • Report an incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) online or by phone at 1-800-366-4484.
  • File a formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at  From the complaint homepage, select “Other” and then “Imposter Scams”.  In the notes, please include “IRS Telephone Scam”.
  • If you receive an email, forward it to the IRS at  Please don’t open any attachments or click on any links in those emails.
  • If you owe, or think you owe, federal taxes, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 or go to  An IRS worker can help with any questions you may have.

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