COLORADO ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE WARNS CONSUMERS: BEWARE IRS IMPOSTER SCAMS
Two New Animals Join www.StopFraudColorado.gov Initiative
DENVER—With tax time just around the corner, the Colorado Attorney General’s Office is warning people to beware of a scam in which people pose as IRS agents and threaten consumers with arrest, deportation, and even drivers’ license revocation if they do not immediately pay their taxes.
“These callers can seem very official and will portray themselves as IRS agents to the point of providing phony badge numbers,” advised Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman. “Just like the debt collection scam we warned about yesterday, in the IRS scam, the caller demands payment by wire transfer or with a prepaid money card and may threaten arrest, litigation or to have liens placed on consumers’ property if payment isn’t immediately received. Countless Coloradans have been frightened by these calls and we want people to understand they are not legitimate,” Coffman continued.
The following signs will help consumers spot the IRS debt collection scam:
• threats of arrest or prosecution
• demand of immediate payment
• requirement of specific payment method, i.e. wire transfer or prepaid money card
• requests for credit or debit card numbers over the phone
• requests for personally identifiable information.
Consumers are encouraged to follow these tips to stay safe:
• do not give out any personal information over the phone
• do not give out any financial information over the phone
• try to write down the basic details of the call, such as the caller’s name and phone number
• if you are unsure of the call’s legitimacy, contact the IRS directly (800) 829-1040.
In support of National Consumer Protection Week, StopFraudColorado.gov is introducing Coloradans to two new animals. The new alligator asks, “How do you know if your loan modifier is out for a pound of flesh?” And a snake raises the question, “Do you know how to spot a snake oil salesman?” Along with the boar (representing charitable fraud) and chameleon (who represents ID theft) these four animals are helping educate Coloradans on common scams and how to file fraud reports.
“It’s critically important that people report fraud, because when they do, it helps us keep all Coloradans safe from the wild range of fraud we see,” explained Coffman. “Since its December 2014 debut, more than 30,000 visitors have gone to StopFraudColorado.gov to learn about common types of fraud, to sign up for fraud alerts, and to report fraud.”
The StopFraudColorado animals to debut thus far include:
• Boar - How do you know your donation is finding the right pockets?
• Chameleon - How do you spot an identity thief?
• Alligator - How do you know your loan modifier is out for a pound of flesh?
• Snake - How do you spot a snake oil salesman?
StopFraudColorado.gov and the statewide marketing campaign is being funded out of settlement moneys recovered by the Colorado Attorney General and earmarked for consumer education and outreach efforts. Follow on Twitter @StopFraudCo and Facebook at facebook.com/stopfraudcolorado.
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