The Lynnwood Police Department has seen a recent increase in the number of imposter telephone scams occurring in our community. These scams are carried out by callers pretending to be from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or some other law enforcement agency. Their goal is to steal money or identities from victims. The Lynnwood Police Department urges you to remain vigilant and protect yourself against these scams.
Phone scams include many variations:
- Callers say the victim owes money or is entitled to a huge refund.
- Threaten arrest and threaten a driver’s license revocation.
- Sometimes these calls are paired with follow-up calls from people saying they are from the local police department or the state motor vehicle department.
- Imposters pose as an employee of any local, state, or federal government.
- These calls, whether they are claiming to be from the IRS or not, can be very aggressive and threatening.
Characteristics of these scams can include:
- Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.
- Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security Number.
- Scammers “spoof” or imitate the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it’s the IRS calling.
- Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS emails to some victims to support their bogus calls.
- Victims hear background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call site.
If you get a call from someone claiming to be with the IRS asking for a payment, here’s what to do:
- If you owe federal taxes, or think you might owe taxes, hang up and call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you with your payment questions.
- If you don’t owe taxes, call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484.
- You can also easily file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at FTC.gov. Add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments in your complaint.